Mahalo Hawane Rios,
We stood at the feet of the Queens statue with prayers upon our lips, chants rising from our chests, and songs of aloha ‘āina in our hearts. In our hands, we held hundreds upon hundreds of pages of Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law, records of unwaveringly love for Mauna Kea. As I looked up to the Queen, I thought of how these documents in our hands could one day become a symbol of strength and courage for the generations to come like the Kū‘ē Petition has been for us and will be for them. Tears filled my eyes as we listened to my mother, Pua Case, bless the papers all the way from Texas. She guided me in I sprinkling water from Waiau and the snow of Poll‘ahu on each petitioners documents. Our voices filled the sky as we made our way through the crosswalk in ceremonial procession. We lifted the names of each petitioner with deep reverence as we neared the building. When we went into the office to deliver the documents, I thought of the countless hours and sleepless nights all of our petitioners and supports have dedicated to the completion of this part of the process. I thought of Uncle Kalani, my mother, and sister and how much I honor and respect them for keeping true to our family commitment to the Mauna. Once the documents were in, we stood together in a circle just like we started, tears in our eyes, prayers of gratitude upon our lips, chants rising from our chests, and songs of aloha ‘āina in our hearts. I will remember and cherish these moments for all of my days. For the Mauna, always. A Kū Mau ka Mana La‘a Kapu a Wākea.
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