“E Ho‘ohanohano a E Ho‘omau. . . To Honor and To Perpetuate"

Kuulei Bell, Bernard Punikai‘a, Olivia Breitha, Peter Keola, Catherine Puahana
All photos by Valerie Monson except Kuulei Bell by DeGray Vanderbilt

“All the people who were here, you can feel their spirit. They don’t want to be forgotten. The Memorial is the most important thing.”
— Kuulei Bell
postmistress, first President of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, sent to Kalaupapa in 1956

“You have to hear the voices to feel the people. You have to know their names. If you don’t say the names, it’s like something has been lost.”
— Bernard Punikai‘a
musician, composer, human rights activist, sent to Kalaupapa
in 1942

“I want to see a monument honoring the people of Kalaupapa before I die. I want to see all the names.”
— Olivia Breitha author and human rights activist, sent to Kalaupapa in 1937

“It is good for people to remember all the patients who were there before us. It is just like those who went to war and died, there are monuments with their names.”
— Peter Keola
tour driver and musician, sent to Kalaupapa
in 1940

“I think we deserve to be remembered. We are part of this world.”
—  Cathrine Puahala artisan and international advocate, sent to Kalaupapa in 1942
The Kalaupapa Memorial: "I Want To See All The Names"

The Kalaupapa Memorial will list the names of everyone who was sent to Kalaupapa after being taken from their families beginning in 1866 because of government policies regarding leprosy. They endured injustice, discrimination, loneliness and adversities as they tried to adjust to a new life. Many went on to achieve remarkable accomplishments that continue to inspire us today. Of the estimated 8,000 people who died at Kalaupapa, fewer than 1,000 have marked tombstones. The Kalaupapa Memorial will ensure that the names of all of these individuals— 90 percent of them Native Hawaiian— will return to the landscape of Kalaupapa and return to the history that they helped to create. The Memorial will become a source of pride, healing and closure for the descendants— and serve as a reminder that people who have a disease should always be surrounded by the love of their family and never be separated at a time when they need their ‘ohana most.
We invite you to join in our collective campaign to build the Memorial, share the stories of the people of Kalaupapa and continue to be inspired by them. With your kokua, their names will live on forever.

 
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