MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Helicopters released 10,000 petals over the graves of veterans at Makawao Cemetery on Maui as part of a special Memorial Day tribute.
The rose petal drop signaled the beginning of the main ceremony in the Valley Isle's annual Memorial Day celebration. The theme of the 2018 tribute was "Fallen Yet Not Forgotten".
The ceremony included a presentation of colors by the Maui Army National Guard, the recitation of the names of veterans who died this year, and a 21-gun salute.
Before the rose petal drop, formally known as the "Shower of Flowers", officials had a special unveiling of the Vietnam War Monument. The rose petals were released by Blue Hawaiian Helicopters.
"The Shower of Flowers is a deeply touching tribute that honors America's fallen heroes," said Elena Walker, treasurer and events coordinator of the Maui County Veterans Council, in a statement.
The honorary event was sponsored by the County of Maui, as well as the Maui County Veterans Council.
"The release of rose petals from the sky demonstrates our deep respect for all those who served our country and fought for our freedom," said Blue Hawaiian Helicopter's president, Gregg Lundberg, in a statement.
"Along with our Maui community, Hawaii dignitaries and members of the U.S. military, we're honored to participate in this special day," Lundberg said.