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More "Red Ribbons Info
What are the Red Ribbons?
The Queen's "Red Ribbon" letter was her official protest, filed by hand in Washington, D.C. in 1987. Since the Queen's letter was filed at the US Department of State in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1897, it has been held by the National Archive. All formal copies are certified with a red ribbon of authenticity -- showing that our protest is in fact still in their hands, still awaiting an answer.
The "red ribbons" also symbolize the blood that flows through our veins,and connects us all to the past, and to the future. This is the blood of Kanaka who have been connected to the land since time immemorial, and the blood of all humanity, which connects us all through love, truth, and the reality that we are all the same living beings upon a planet that desperately needs peace and balance.
About the Queenʻs Train Journey
It should be noted that Liko and Laulani are following the spirit of the Queen's journey rather than the exact route. Music, sharing, aloha, avocacy for Hawai'i, and attempts at respite are the themes.
Read more detailed historic information at these great online historic sources here and here.
In 1897, amidst the turmoil of violent occupation by the self-proclaimed "Republic of Hawaii" (an all-white militia government that had invaded 'Iolani Palace in 1893), and following her release from imprisonment for "traitorous" acts against the occupying government, Queen Lili'uokalani travelled to the East Coast of the United States by train from San Francisco. She needed escape and respite, and she needed to be closer to the United States capitol, wher discussions over Annexation were raging.
Along the way, she played music at many events, and was honored as a great composer of the era. She touched the hearts of the American people with stories of Hawai'i, and what was happening in her homeland, as well as with her beautiful music.
She also continued to protest the wrongful taking of her homeland by people to whom it did not belong. She stood firmly against Annexation all the way, and filed an official letter of protest with the U.S. Department of State on June 17, 1897. This was in conjunction with a petition of 38,000 signatures of the people of Hawai'i (the majority of citizens at the time) in protest of Annexation.
Lili'uokalani returned to her homeland the following year, again by an indirect route, and again, touching the hearts of the people along the way.
Train Chants for Lili'uokalani
(about "Lanakila" train on O'ahu)
Lili'uokalani in Washington, D.C.
Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen - Liliuokalani
The Rights of my People: Liliuokalani's Enduring Battle with the United States (google book)
The Kūʻē Petitions - Ka Lei Maile Aliʻi Hawaiian Civic Club
San Francisco Call, 1897: Article about Liliʻuokalaniʻs train departure to protest Annexation
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