LAUPAHOEHOE, Hawaii: The community – including school children and teachers – gathered at the Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park last Thursday, in remembrance of the tragic April 1st, 1946 tsunami.
On that day, a powerful earthquake along Alaska’s Aleutian island chain sent the surge that destroyed the school and claimed many lives.
Those lost in the event were honored during the first part of the Point Project, a Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School effort that includes a day of work improving the scenic beach park, as well as this ceremony, which involved the kids placing floweres at the base of this memorial.
There was an extra sense of finality during this already somber occasion… with the department of education’s involvement at Laupahoehoe school ending this summer, and a new charter school taking over, change is in the air.
Some of the kids who spoke during the Point Project ceremony were under the impression that this would be the last Point Project that students would be involved with at the park.
However, Aunty Lucille Chung – one of the local leaders in the charter school effort and an active figure in the Laupahoehoe community – believes otherwise. She reassured us during this Family Fun Day event on the grounds of the modern day school, located a safe distance uphill from the site of the old school.
Aunty Lucille was down at the point on Thursday, helping the outgoing seniors of Laupahoehoe to plant this coconut tree, a 12th grade tradition of the annual Project.