HILO, Hawaii – A memorial wall dedicated to Hawaii Island officers killed in the line of duty was unveiled and blessed on Monday at a Police Week ceremony.
The monument located at the South Hilo police station is named Ka Malu Aloha, which means “The Shelter of Aloha.” It honors the four Hawaiʻi Police Department officers killed in the line of duty since 1918: Manuel Cadinha (1918), William “Red” Oili (1936), Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku (1990) and Kenneth Keliipio (1997).
The memorial was the brainchild of Jitchaku’s sister, Momi Cazimero, who said her mission to create it began with the loss of her brother on May 7, 1990.
Cazimero said the monument “represents a group hug into perpetuity,” and explained that the granite center represents the fallen officers, the rocks surrounding it represent open arms of people, and a thin blue light represents police officers.
Other speakers at the ceremony included the governor’s Hawaiʻi Island liaison, Wil Okabe, Mayor Billy Kenoi and Police Chief Harry Kubojiri. The tribute included a 21-gun salute, “Taps” and a candle-lighting ceremony.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as Police Week.