"Only the formalities remained. The people of Hawaii had to ratify the action of Congress. This they did in late June by a margin of seventeen to one. President Eisenhower performed the last official act when he signed a proclamation on August 21 admitting 'the state of Hawaii into the Union on an equal footing with other states of the Union. . . .' At last Hawaii's people were first-class citizens.
"Unnoticed in the general celebration were the few who were saddened. On March 13 services were held at Kawaihao Church to commemorate the coming of statehood. The old, coral stone church, which had witnessed so much history was crowded. Extra chairs were placed in the aisles, every seat was occupied in the lofts, and people gathered outside to hear the words of Reverend Abraham Akaka over a loudspeaker system.
" 'There are some of us to whom statehood brings great hopes; and there are some to whom statehood brings silent fears,' Reverend Akaka said. 'One might say that the hopes and fears of Hawaii are met in statehood today. There are fears that statehood will motivate economic greed toward Hawaii, that it will turn Hawaii into a great big (as someone has said) spiritual junkyard filled with smashed dreams, worn-out illusions---that it will make us lonely, confused, insecure, empty, anxious, restless, disillusioned---a wistful people.'
"But Akaka believed all would be well. He remembered an ancient Hawaiian chant which said, 'but there is salvation for the people, for now the land is being lit by a great flame.' Hawaii had much to give the nation which had now seen fit to make her an equal member. The greatest contribution was the gift of aloha. Akaka remembered that as a child he had heard the words, 'Aloha ke akua.' Aloha is god. He told his congregation that 'when a people or a person live in the spirit of aloha, they live in the spirit of God.'
"Reverend Akaka neared the end of his sermon: '. . . aloha is the spirit of God at work in you and in me and in the world.' Then Hawaii's moving anthem, Hawaii Ponoi, was sung. In a back corner of the choir loft stood a tall, proud Hawaiian man. He sang the words with great feeling while tears flooded down his cheeks.
"In 1959 a special election was held in Hawaii to fill the offices which came with statehood. William F. Quinn, who had been appointed governor by President Eisenhower, now won the office by popular vote. Oren E. Long, an educator who had served as the appointed governor during the Truman administration, was elected to the United States Senate, as was Hiram Fong, a long-time political power in the Islands. Daniel K. Inouye, who had won fame for his World War II exploits, was elected to the House of Representatives."
(from, "Hawaii | An Uncommon History," Edward Joesting | W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. | New York | Copyright 1972 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. | All rights reserved. Published simultaneously in Canada by George J. McLeod Limited, Toronto. Printed in the United States of America. | Published simultaneously in Canada by Penguin Books Canada, Ltd.)