HONOLULU - The student council leaders from Moanalua Elementary School present touching remarks to members of the Tripler Army Medical Center command team before donating Christmas ornaments to the hospital, Dec. 14.

"Every time we look up at the top of the hill, we see the iconic pink building that is a symbol of the service and sacrifice that the men and women here make to our nation," stated Nevaeh Medina, president of the Moanalua Elementary School Student Council.

The school has a long-standing tradition of helping Tripler celebrate the holidays by donating the decorations to add to the nurses' stations, lobbies, and patient rooms.

Jeffrey Wong, student council advisor, Moanalua Elementary School, said approximately 500 students handmade the ornaments for about one month, and every year the students look forward to providing the decorations to the hospital for Christmas.

"From our Moanalua Elementary family to the Tripler Army Medical Center staff, mahalo for allowing us to visit and continue our tradition of decorating the iconic pink building at the top of the hill that has earned a special place in our hearts," Medina said. "We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and ... or as we say it in Hawaiian, 'Mele Kalikimaka!'"

Tripler has been healing heroes since before the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Its origins date back to 1906 when several wooden structures at Fort Shafter were used as a hospital. In 1948 construction for the new Tripler hospital was complete where it still stands, atop the Moanalua ridge. The "iconic pink building" has become a familiar landmark on the island of Oahu and continues to serve 264,000 local active duty, guard/reserve and retired military personnel, their families and veteran beneficiaries.