This is an update on the Ewa plantation cemetery that I had written about in June (Hawaii Sugar Plantation)
Where are the graves? Only one lonely memorial.
When I first went to the plantation graveyard, grass grew so high that I could not see the tombstones. I thought they had all been removed. I could only think of all the hard work, trials and tribulations that these immigrants suffered to only end up forgotten.
Then a few months back while having breakfast at the Zippy’s restaurant across from the graveyard I got a pleasant surprise.
My friend and I were gabbing away as we walked to the car. I hadn’t even given the graveyard a second thought until we drove out of the parking lot that faced the cemetery. I was shocked. All the graveyard had been clipped and cleaned.
There are headstones as early as 1896 and the graveyard has been registered with the State Historical Society. But there has been nobody that is responsible for the care and upkeep of it. Too bad with all the money that was made harvesting sugar, the big cats could not find it in their deep pockets to provide for a perpetual care for those people who worked themselves to the bone, ended up with permanently bent backs and suffered abuse and ended there days here to be lost in a blanket of weeds and just a whisper in the wind.
But someone has taken it upon his or her self to do something about the condition. And these are the results of what I saw that day.
This is the same memorial after the cemetery had been cared for. I was so surprised at all of the graves around it.
I even found signs of visitors. I was elated to see that some of these people were not forgotten
These were the graves that surrounded the one with the flowers.
Look at the dates on this marker. It speaks volumes as to what this mother must have suffered. I wonder if she was one of the many women who had to work and give birth in the field. I imagine her with a little bundle wrapped and slung over her back as she stayed hunched over working in the unbearable heat to line some fat cats pocket. She truly sacrificed. This was a beautiful tomb stone that was erected by what must have been a very loving family.
I’m not sure what was going on here but I would like to think that someone came to share a bottle and conversation with the person buried here.
This soul received a beautiful orchid lei.
And this was my favorite marker. I don’t know who it belonged to but it fits perfectly into this sad setting.
If you would like to read more about this area here is a very interesting site to go to. It is a request for money to help preserve the Plantation area. It is full of the history of those times and is very informative.
Ewa Historical Society