Remembering and Honoring Maui Veterans with Blooms and Lei

This year’s Blossoms for the Brave gathering is on Friday, May 25, 2018 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Photo courtesy Sanba38 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2073899
Have you heard of the “Blossoms for the Brave” event on Maui? Blossoms for the Brave is a wonderful time of community lei making held annually in the front lawn of the County of Maui Building.

It is a remarkable annual community gathering co-hosted by Kaunoa Senior Services, the Department of Housing and Human Concerns and the Office of Mayor, currently Mayor Alan Arakawa.

Displays of many varieties of lei are draped on display to lend their beautiful scent on the entire event.
Photo courtesy Liza Pierce

This year’s Blossoms for the Brave gathering is on Friday, May 25, 2018 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Imagine a place filled with flowers and greeneries. It’s a beautiful sight! The flowers and greeneries are donated by Maui residents. Examples of frequently used blooms and greeneries are Green Tī leaves (cut and frozen); crown flowers; orchids; Bozu flowers; Plumeria (buds and partially open); Bougainvillea flowers and leaves and other sturdy flowers.

The lei made at this gathering are placed on veterans’ graves on Memorial Day at the Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao. This is honoring our “Braves” the Hawaiian way.

You don’t need to be a lei making expert to participate. You just need to be available and willing, and there are many tūtū and aunties there who will gladly teach you how to sew a lei.
Photo courtesy Liza Pierce

Want to know how many lei we are making this year 2018? The goal is to make 2,870 lei! That’s a lot of lei!

You don’t need to be an expert in making lei to participate. You just need to be available and willing, and there are many tūtū and aunties there who will gladly teach you how to sew a lei.

Loose flowers are also gathered for the aerial drop on Memorial Day.

Pre-sewn lei are also welcome; finished lei should be 16 inches long before tying. Lei-making will begin at 9 a.m.

“As we sew lei together, we express our gratitude for their service, and for the many ways these men and women helped shape the community we live in today,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “Blossoms for the Brave is a wonderful opportunity to meet up with old friends and neighbors as we remember our fallen heroes who gave their lives to serve our country.”

Ample parking and a free shuttle to the County Building will be available from Ichiro “Iron” Maehara Baseball Stadium parking lot every half-hour beginning at 8:30 a.m. The last return shuttle will leave the County Building at 12:30 p.m.

And while the participants are making lei, Kevin Kanemoto & Friends will be playing and entertaining. The Emcee is the passionate and talented Kathy Collins. It sure will be a lot of fun!
The public is invited to participate. Lei Making is a great activity to do with family and friends. I love how we can see the keiki and kūpuna working together with aunties and uncles on this gathering. I am definitely going. Are you? Yes, come and let’s do it together as one big Maui ‘ohana!


Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media Strategist in Hawai‘i. She started blogging in 2006 and she loves talking story online and spreading aloha around the world. She’s been living on Maui since 1994 and considers Maui her home. A wife, a mother, a friend…and so much more. She loves Jesus; Maui Sunsets Catcher; Crazy About Rainbow; End Alzheimer’s Advocate. Her life is full and exciting here on the island of Maui.
Liza is currently the Interactive Media Strategist with Wailea Realty Corp.