Lantern dedications provide remembrances
WAIKIKI, Hawaii Aca,!" Candlelit lanterns are cast afloat in the Pacific Ocean from Ala Moana Beach Park during the 2009 memorial ceremony.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The 12th Annual Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony, May 31, invites people to come together and cast more than 3,000 candlelit lanterns afloat from Ala Moana Beach Park, in Honolulu, as a way of peacefully remembering loved ones who have passed.

Lantern Floating Hawaii is a unique event that brings together people from all cultures, nations and faiths.

It is a way to express gratitude for the past while looking towards a brighter future.

The ceremony remembers those who gave their lives in conflict, allows for reflection on the memories of loved ones and dedicates prayers for a peaceful and harmonious future.

Individuals taking part in the ceremony will bring their own unique life journey, memories and hopes with them.

For those wishing to make individual dedications, lanterns will be available to the public at the park before the ceremony. Lanterns are free, although donations are welcome.

To make logistics easier, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation is offering round-trip transportation service from Sgt. Smith Theater on Schofield Barracks, departing at 12 p.m., and from Richardson Theatre on Fort Shafter, departing at 12:30 p.m.

Vans will arrive early enough to request lanterns.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the vehicles will depart Magic Island for return trips at approximately 8:30 p.m.

The cost of the FMWR bus is $11 for adults and $4 for children under the age of 18, which includes a barbecue with Outdoor Recreation at Magic Island, and afternoon activities.

Event officials are expecting more than 40,000 people to attend this year, so parking in and around the beach park will be scarce.

Free event parking will be offered at the Hawaii Convention Center, and a complimentary shuttle bus and handicap-accessible van will transport visitors between the center and the beach park, starting at 4 p.m.

To reserve a seat on a Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation bus, call 655-0143. For more information on the ceremony, visit <a href="http://www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com/">www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com</a>.

Check out photos from last year's Lantern Floating Festival on <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/usag-hi/sets/72157618933707967/">Flickr</a>.

Page last updated Thu May 27th, 2010 at 23:02