Permanently housed in a black box venue in the historic Kamehameha V Post Office Building at the corner of Bethel and Merchant streets in Honolulu, the theatre known to locals as “Kumu” has a special place in the hearts of many theatre lovers in the state.
When Douglas D.L. Chong thinks about celebrating Ching Ming as a child, he remembers waking up before dawn to the smells of home cooking. Sitting in traffic en route to the Mānoa Chinese Cemetery, a line of cars backs up all the way to University Avenue. Finally, around 7am, his family would reach their oldest ancestors’ grave sites, arriving there at the same time as about 40 other relatives.
They didn’t fight for fame or recognition, but because it was the right thing to do. Now in their 90s, events beyond their control are still shaping the lives of the Chinese American veterans of World War II. A global pandemic has now extended the delay of national and local ceremonies honoring their military service. But at long last, they will soon be recognized for their patriotism.