Hawaii sends aloha to the ninth island with mile-long lei as memorials grow

Hawaii sends aloha to the ninth island with mile-long lei as memorials grow
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii residents are showing their aloha for the ninth island following Sunday's mass shooting.

Maui Native Stacey Moniz said her group is in the process weaving a mile long lei for those affected in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

"Everyone wants to send our aloha to our family and friends that are also in Las Vegas, it's the ninth island, we all have a strong connection to Vegas," said Moniz

Moniz said the "lei of Aloha" started with people of Maui wanting to send a collective hug or a symbol of aloha to comfort those in times of need. She said it is designed to be a physical manifestation.

"When we sit side by side and we weave together this lei of different colors, leaves of yellow and green and sometimes pink and red and once woven together, we can't tell us apart. We sit side by side and we share our grief and sadness," she said.

Also in light of Vegas shooting, the Blood Bank of Hawaii is asking residents to donate.

"In times like this there is not a lot of excess blood. We are on our own. We have to act as if we're on our own. Self-sustainability means much in times like this," said Blood Bank of Hawaii CEO Kim-Anh Nguyen.

The need for blood in Las Vegas plus hurricanes in the US and Puerto Rico have reduced reserve blood supplies that help Hawaii. Nguyen said it needs about 300 donations to catch up.

Plus, big U.S. airlines are allowing passengers to change their plans for flights to or from Las Vegas without facing any penalties.

American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines said Monday that they offering waivers through Tuesday. A waiver from United Airlines lasts through Friday.

The Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs released a statement Monday offering condolences to the victims of the shooting at a country music festival.

The statement says: "We know that Las Vegas will shine again, but for now we mourn the tragedy it has endured in this dark time."

The department says it is offering support to local businesses that rely on tourism.

Hawaiian Airlines is waiving change fees for those planning to fly to or from Las Vegas on Monday or Tuesday.

For more information, click here or call the airline's reservations department at 1-800-367-5320.

Additionally, the California Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas said all Boyd Gaming locations are offering up to two free nights for any victim or victim's family members affected by this tragedy.

Click here for more information on room accommodations.

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