Lying in state a rare and treasured honor in Hawaii

Lying in state a rare and treasured honor in Hawaii
1997 KGMB image of Bruddah Iz lying in state

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka is just the eight person to lie in state at the Hawaii Capitol building.

Lying in state is the tradition in which the body of a lawmaker or other person of importance is placed in a government building to allow the public to pay their respects.

The others who have been recognized with this honor in Hawaii are:

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye 

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye was memorialized with lying in state ceremonies at both the U.S. Capitol rotunda and the Hawaii State Capitol.

The Medal of Honor recipient and 50-year veteran of the Senate died in 2012 of respiratory complications at a Washington hospital.

He was the second longest-serving senator and served as president pro tempore of the Senate, third in the line presidential succession.

U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink

In 2002, hundreds gathered at Hawaii's state Capitol to remember the late Democratic U.S. Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink.

Mink was a petite but fiery public speaker who helped open doors of opportunity for women and minorities.

The liberal Democrat from Hawaii would have likely been elected to a 13th term that year, but died of pneumonia in Honolulu. She was 74.

State Sen. Larry Kuriyama 

The murder of state Sen. Larry Kuriyama on Oct. 23, 1970 shocked the state.

Kuriyama had been at a political rally attended by hundreds of people, including Gov. John Burns.

He arrived home at around 11 p.m. and was gunned down by a hit man who shot him several times using a gun with a silencer.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that the senator's murder remained unsolved for nearly two decades.

Israel Kamakawiwo`ole

Musician Israel Kamakawiwoole's lying in state ceremony at the state Capitol building was a colorful and crowded event.

The Hawaii state flag flew at half-staff on July 10, 1997, the day of Kamakawiwoole's funeral.

His koa wood coffin lay in state at the Capitol building for the day.

He was the third person in Hawaiian history to be awarded this honor, and the only one who was not a government official.

U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga

U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga died in 1990 at the age of 73 from prostate and bone cancer.

Matsunaga's legislation in the Senate led to the creation of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians and the United States Institute of Peace.

His flag-draped casket lay in state in the rotunda at the Hawaii State Capitol.

U.S. Sen. Hiram Fong

U.S. Sen. Hiram Leong Fong's lying in state ceremony took place a week before his burial in 2004.

Fong's casket was placed in the atrium of the State Capitol and a short service with prayers and speeches was held.

Fong was a Republican who won the hearts and votes of Democratic-dominated Hawaii to become the nation's first Asian-American U.S. senator.

He was born into poverty in Kalihi on Oct. 15, 1906, as Yau Leong Fong.

Gov. John Burns

John Anthony Burns, who retired as governor of Hawaii at the end of 1974, died the next year at his home on Oahu.

He was 66 years old and had been ill with cancer.

Burns led the movement that switched island political power from the Republican to the Democratic Party, and he won the governorship with strong support from unions and Japanese-American veterans of World War II.

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