PHOTOS: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Discusses Unity and Servant Leadership at 48th Annual King Kamehameha Lei Draping Ceremony in the U.S. Capitol’s Emancipation Hall

June 11, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today spoke at the 2017 King Kamehameha Lei Draping Ceremony in Emancipation Hall to honor King Kamehameha’s legacy of uniting the islands and establishing the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1810. The 48th Annual Lei Draping Ceremony, hosted by the Hawaiʻi State Society, is held each June at the U.S. Capitol to coincide with King Kamehameha Day celebrations taking place throughout Hawaiʻi.  Hundreds of people attended, including Kauaʻi Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Hawaiʻi State Senate President Ron Kouchi, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Vice-Chair Dan Ahuna, and other state and local elected officials, and included performances by hula halaus from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. 

In her remarks, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke about King Kamehameha:

“King Kamehameha’s legacy is one of unity and servant leadership. He brought people together in the face of great division, uniting the islands of Hawaiʻi for the first time. King Kamehameha was a leader ahead of his time who understood that true unity, in the end, could not be achieved at the tips of spears or by the muzzles of guns, but through dialogue, mutual respect, and working to understand common goals between people.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also discussed the lessons taught by King Kamehameha:

“What we learn from leaders like King Kamehameha is that we are at our best when we confront challenges together—when we set aside differences and unite. King Kamehameha was able to unify the islands of Hawaiʻi, not by creating a system that benefited a few, but by empowering many. These values still need to be protected and upheld today so that those who work hard have opportunities to succeed; that education and health care are not just for the privileged; that we serve as caretakers of our land and water for future generations; and that we treat others with aloha, love, and respect.”

B-roll footage and the photos below are available here for download.

Background: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced H. Con. Res. 83 in 2014 to authorize the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitors Center, which houses a statue of King Kamehameha I, for the event.

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