In 1949, the Legislature of the Territory of Hawaii established the Pacific War Memorial Commission (“Commission”) to create memorials to those who had lost their lives in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.
In 1952, the tenth Territorial Governor of Hawaii, Oren E. Long, set aside 11 acres of land to the Commission for what would later be known as the Keehi Lagoon Project (“Project”). By agreement between the Commission and Disabled American Veterans (“DAV”), a permanent living war memorial would be constructed.
In 1961, driven by the steadfastness of then Hawaii DAV’s leader, Tommy Kakesako, and the tireless efforts of DAV’s members and community volunteers, the Project began to take shape with the completion of a Master Plan and clearing of the once mangrove swamp that comprised most of the land.
By 1965, construction of the Obelisk, Memorial Hall, entry road and parking area were complete. Over the next 30 years, construction of the Alfred Los Banos Pavilion, John A. Burns Hall, Tommy Kakesako Hall, and the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Hall would be completed.
Ke’ehi Lagoon Memorial (“KLM”) continues to serve as the envisioned living memorial dedicated to honoring all veterans with a special remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our Nation. As a self-sustaining 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Ke’ehi Memorial Organization (“KMO”) provides the necessary professional care and maintenance of the Memorial while ensuring that it meets its stated purpose to support disabled veterans and their families and the youth of our community. As a public trust, KMO is committed to fulfilling its mission for the benefit of all.
To be a community partner upholding the vision of a “living” memorial that recognizes and honors the sacrifices of veterans.
Originally built in 1964, “dedicated to the living, in memory of our fallen comrades who gave their lives to our country” — The Obelisk is a symbol that perpetuates the reverence we hold for those who died in defense of our country. It is a reminder to ourselves and the community of their sacrifice for our future.
Our Board of Directors
The Ke’ehi Memorial Organization board of directors are committed to the vision of being a community partner upholding the vision of a “living” memorial that recognizes and honors the sacrifices of veterans.
President & Treasurer
Dr. Beverly Robinson