For the queen, the bell tolls

| November 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — On Nov. 11, 2017, the Soldiers Chapel, along with other religious establishments in Hawaii rang its bell to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Queen Lili’uokalani, Nov. 11, 1917. The public was also invited to the State Capitol building for a remembrance program near the queen’s statue, which included hula dancing, chants and song. (U.S. Army photo by Kristen Wong, Oahu Publications)

Soldiers Chapel rings 100 times

Story and photos by
Kristen Wong
Contributing Writer

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — On Nov. 11, 1917, Queen Lili‘uokalani, Hawaii’s last monarch, passed away at Washington Place.

Flags were flown at half-mast, and the bells of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Andrew and Kawaiaha‘o Church tolled for the queen.

On Veterans Day, 100 years later, the queen was honored again with 100 bell tolls from more than 100 local churches, synagogues, temples and mosques.

At Schofield Barracks, personnel rang the bell at the Soldiers Chapel 100 times. The Soldiers Chapel was first built in 1913. A second Soldiers Chapel was built in 1920 and moved to its current location in 1925.

Queen Lili‘uokalani gifted Schofield Barracks’ first chapel in Castner Village, built in 1913. Each year, this year being the third, personnel commemorate the queen’s birthday at the chapel.

“I just think that it’s an honor and privilege to be a part of (this occasion), knowing that she had dedicated part of this chapel for the Soldiers,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kevin Niehoff, chief of Religious Support, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. “It really is an honor knowing that, despite everything that happened in her life, she could show grace and mercy. I think that’s a lesson for everybody.”

A short service, which Niehoff presided over, preceded the ringing. Prayers were also offered for people worldwide faced with tragedy and strife.

The general public was invited to an observance known as Aloha Lili‘u, near the queen’s statue at the Hawaii State Capitol building, where singing, chanting and hula performances took place. The queen was honored with the sound of conch shells, drums, chanters and hula dancers.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — As Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kevin Niehoff (left), chief of Religious Support, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, keeps track of the number of tolls, Saturday, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii leaders, at right, ring the bell at the Soldiers Chapel. The Soldiers Chapel, along with other religious establishments in Hawaii, rang its bell to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Queen Lili‘uokalani, Nov. 11, 1917.

“A century after her passing, she is still beloved by her people, many of whom have benefited from her legacy,” said State Sen. Kai Kahele, co-organizer of Aloha Lili‘u, in a post by Senate Communications. “We hope through this observance, we can all be reminded of and emulate her spirit and character of grace, courage, strength and compassion.”

The day after the ceremony at the capitol, Kahele and Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, who also helped organize Aloha Lili‘u, went to Mauna Ala Royal Mausoleum to present ho‘okupu, or ceremonial gifts, at Queen Lili‘uokalani’s crypt.

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