Pililaʻau - John Pi`ilani Watkins

Kaulana nō ʻoe e Pililaʻau lā
Ke koa kaulana o Hawaiʻi nei lā
Ua ola Hawaiʻi i kou inoa lā
Kaulana nō Hawaiʻi

He hiwahiwa ʻoe na ka lāhui lā
E he lipine hoʻi no ka papale lā
E kau haʻaheo nei i ke poʻo lā
Haʻaheo nō kou inoa

I mea hoʻomanaʻo na ka lāhui lā
Mahalo o ka hae ʻAmelika lā
Kou inoa hanolano Pililaʻau lā
Ola nō ʻoe e Hawaiʻi

Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana lā
Paʻahia kou inoa me ka hanohano lā
Ke koa kaulana o Hawaiʻi nei lā
Haʻaheo Pililaʻau

You are celebrated Pililaʻau
The famous warrior of Hawaiʻi
Hawaiʻi lives through your name
Hawaiʻi is renowned

You are precious for the nation
A ribbon for your hat
Proudly placed on your head
Your name is distinguished

As a memorial for one by the nation
The American flag admires
Your majestic name, Pililaʻau
You live through Hawaiʻi

Let the story be told
Your name is forever imbued with glory
The famous warrior of Hawaiʻi
Cherished is Pililaʻau

Source: Halemanu Collection - Aggie Pililaau, grand-niece (in-law) of Herbert Ka'ili Pililaau. Composed to honor, Herbert Pililaau, born 1928, the 9th of 14 children, from Waiʻanae, Oʻahu. He joined the Army and was killed in the Korean War, Sept. 17,1951, at age 22. He voluntarily and single-handedly defended the withdrawal of his platoon on Heartbreak Ridge. When his ammunition ran out, he fought with a trench knife and then, his bare hands. His body was discovered surrounded by 40 enemy soldiers. He was the first Hawaiian to be awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously on June 18, 1952, by President Harry Truman and is buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. In his honor, the US Navy christened a military Sealift Command cargo ship, the USNS Pililaau, on Jan. 2000. Translated by Kanani Kamai