What to Expect for the 24-Hour Services Honoring the Late U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka

Some tips for thousands expected to pay their respects at State Capitol and Kawaiaha’o Church. Plus, find out the schedule of services and where to park.
The U.S. and Hawaiian flags flew at half staff from Akaka’s death  April 6 until his burial May 21.


Millie and Daniel Akaka.
Photo: Kahuku Photography 

Thousands of people are expected to pay their respects to longtime U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who died April 6, in public services this weekend at the Hawai‘i State Capitol and Kawaiaha‘o Church.


The veteran lawmaker will lie in state for 24 hours in the courtyard of the state Capitol from 10 a.m. May 18 (Friday) until 10 a.m. May 19 (Saturday), according to former spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke. Akaka’s casket will be escorted there by family members and military honor guards.


SEE ALSO: Honoring the Life and Legacy of the Late U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka


 A ceremony will be held when the casket arrives at 10 a.m. Friday, as well as a public program at 6 p.m. Friday. A number of musicians who asked to express their aloha to Senator Akaka will play music throughout the day and night.


A memorial book will be available for people to sign. The family requested no flowers and has not designated any specific charity.


Parking will be free after 4:30 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday at locations listed below. The family will be present for visitation at Kawaiaha’o beginning at noon Saturday. Shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday, Akaka’s casket will depart for the church, where visitation is scheduled to begin at noon, with celebration of life services at 2 p.m., Broder Van Dyke says.


Friday, May 18

9:45 a.m.

Friday, the Royal Hawaiian Band begins playing at the State Capitol. The motorcade including Honolulu Police Department motorcycle officers, lead car, hearse and a limousine carrying Senator Akaka’s five children departs from Borthwick Mortuary to the State Capitol via this route: from Maunakea Street, Vineyard Boulevard, Punchbowl Street, Beretania Street.  


10 a.m.

The senator’s casket is scheduled to arrive at the State Capitol, taken to the Capitol courtyard, where son Danny Akaka Jr. will chant the oli. The family will be escorted by Gov. David Ige, House Majority Leader Della Au Belatti and Senate President Ron Kouchi. Others attending will include Lt. Gov. Doug Chin and Hawai‘i Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald. Hawai‘i Royal Order Societies will be in the procession.


10:15 a.m.

The Royal Hawaiian Band will begin playing Hawaiian Lullaby (Senator Akaka's favorite song, which begins "where I live, there are rainbows…")


Family members plan to be there at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and then take turns greeting visitors for the rest of the 24-hour period in which he lies in state.


6 p.m.

Iconic entertainer Robert Cazimero will sing Hawaiian Lullaby followed by Prayer Service by Kahu James “Kimo” Merseberg and remarks by Gov. David Ige, and former governors George Ariyoshi, John Waihe‘e, Ben Cayetano, Neil Abercrombie, Lt. Gov. Chin, Mayor Caldwell, Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Big Island Managing Director Wil Okabe for Mayor Harry Kim and Senator Akaka’s daughter Millannie Akaka)



The National Guard will stand guard at casket until 10 a.m on Saturday, May 19.


Saturday, May 19


Kawaiaha‘o Church will open for visitation. Harpist Ruth Freedman will play music during the visitation. 


2 p.m.

Kawaiaha‘o Church Celebration of Life, services are scheduled to run from 2 to 3:30 p.m. led by Kahu James “Kimo” Merseberg. 


The eulogy will be delivered by former Gov. George Ariyoshi.


Son Danny Akaka, Jr. will offer reflections of the Senator's five children. Grandson Dr. David Mattson will speak on behalf of the Senator's 15 grandchildren. Son Dr. Gerard Akaka will provide the scripture lesson in English. Daughter Millannie Akaka Mattson will provide greetings and aloha. Following the ceremony, Holunape will play music. 


Private burial services will take place Monday, May 21 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.


Where to park?

Free parking will be available after 4:30 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday:

  • City and County of Honolulu Municipal Lot, entrance on Beretania Street past the police station.

  • Kalanimoku Building 

  • Hawai‘i Department of Health lot (There is no public parking in the State Capitol lot) 


Can’t get to the State Capitol in person?

 ‘Ōlelo Community Media will provide live coverage of the Akaka public ceremonies honoring at the Hawai‘i State Capitol on Friday, May 18, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing through noon. The live ‘Ōlelo cablecast will start again at 6 p.m. for the ceremonies and coverage is scheduled to continue until about 10:30 p.m.


The live cablecast will air on Channel 49 and will be streamed live at olelo/49. The cablecast will also be made available for viewing within 48 hours on ‘Ōlelo Video On-Demand Channel 184 and olelo.org/olelonet


Viewers on the Big Island and Maui will be able to view ‘Ōlelo’s cablecast on Nā Leo TV and on Akakū, respectively. For more information, visit olelo.org.


Honolulu Police Department Traffic Advisories

May 18–21

HPD Motorcade road closures will be progressive or rolling, and roads will be reopened after the last car in the motorcade passes.


Friday, May 18

Closures beginning at 9:15 a.m. 

Depart: Borthwick Mortuary at 9:45 a.m., arrive at State Capitol 10 a.m.

Route: North on Maunakea Street to North Vineyard Boulevard; East on North Vineyard Boulevard to Punchbowl Street; South on Punchbowl Street to South Beretania Street; West on South Beretania Street to the Capitol flag poles.


Saturday morning, May 19

9:30 a.m. 

Depart: State Capitol at 10 a.m., arrive Kawaiaha‘o Church (Punchbowl Street entrance) at 10:30 a.m.

Route: West on South Beretania Street to Richards Street; South on Richards Street to South King Street; East on South King Street to Punchbowl Street; Right onto Punchbowl and immediate left into Kawaiha‘o Church parking lot.


Saturday evening, May 19

Approximately 5 p.m. 

Depart: Kawaiaha‘o Church to Borthwick Mortuary

Route: Exit Kawaiha‘o Church onto Punchbowl Street; North on Punchbowl Street to South Beretania Street; Left on South Beretania Street; West on South Beretania Street to Maunakea Street; North on Mauakea Street to Borthwick Mortuary.


Monday morning, May 21

10:30 a.m.

Depart: Borthwick Mortuary at 11 a.m., arrive Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific at 11:15 a.m.

Route: North on Maunakea Street to North Vineyard Boulevard; East on North Vineyard Boulevard to Queen Emma Street; North on Queen Emma Street to Lusitana Street; North on Lusitana Street to Puowaina Drive; North on Puowaina Drive to Punchbowl Cemetery.


Read More Stories by Robbie Dingeman