The people of Hawai‘i Island
The Design Problem
My brother, Officer Ronald S. Jitchaku was killed in the line of duty on May 7, 1990. The tragedy prompted me to research how fallen officers were honored. In one county I was shown a metal “floor tent” with predrilled holes in the lobby of the police station. In another county, photographs were displayed on a bookshelf in the chiefʻs office.
My inquiries about a police memorial led me to Sister Roberta, a reserve officer and chaplain with the Honolulu Police Department. I shared my disappointment at the lack of appropriate respect and public tribute. She, in turn, encouraged me to fill that need—suggesting it was the Lordʻs calling that I create a memorial.
In the ensuing years I received support and encouragement. I was also given stern warnings of “good intentions wrongfully directed” because a public monument would be targeted and vandalized. I could not dismiss the latter warning as my brotherʻs cross that was temporarily placed at the site where he was killed was vandalized.
In my attempt to resolve the constant tug of emotional uncertainty, I pondered the reasons we create monuments and the higher purpose they fulfill.
I was moved to write the following:
Memorials are historyʻs messengers of our values.
They are the silent sentries of our aspirations.
Memorials provide a lasting legacy of our humanity and sacrifice.
They bridge our immortal ties with greatness.
Those words resonated with me thus strengthening my resolve and confirming the greater purpose.
Building a police memorial is a community obligation. A police memorial stands in judgment of a community in measuring the value they place on sacrifices made in their behalf—where the price of peace is oneʻs life.
On May 16, 2016, the police memorial was dedicated in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.
The Design Solution
KA MALU ALOHA
In Memory of the Ultimate Sacrifice
of our Fallen Officers.
( We will not forget)
The police memorial is titled “Ka Malu Aloha” and translates “The Shelter of Love”. It affirms the message—“As the police in their lives shelter us with aloha; we now shelter their memory with our aloha.”
The walls are a physical manifestation of the embrace of Aloha. The memorial provides a place for individual reflection and consolation, and will also accommodate public, ceremonial gatherings.
Police officers are referred to as “The Thin Blue Line”. At night, that symbolism transforms the memorial into a spiritual sanctuary, with the thin blue light imbedded between the granite header panel and the panel of tribute to officers killed in the line of duty.
Law enforcement was created for our protection.
We do not need to carry weapons because they do.
We do not live in fear because they assure our safety.
We do not live in chaos because they bring order.
Our police officers are the thin blue line between us and harmʻs way.
KA MALU ALOHA is the Shelter of Love that will embrace ALL who have sacrificed—officers and their families—in perpetuity.