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Hawaii State Aloha Order of Merit

Aloha Order of Merit

Adopted in 1993

The Aloha Order of Merit was established in 1993 by the Legislature to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves nationally or internationally and who contributed to the attainment of statehood or have provided extraordinary service to, devoted themselves to the betterment of, or brought honor to the state. Upon request of the Governor, members of the order may serve as emissaries for the people of Hawaii.

Aloha Order of Merit honorees have achieved national or international recognition for being outstanding in their field; contributed to the attainment of statehood for Hawaii; devoted themselves to the betterment of the state (embodying the concept of the Aloha Spirit Law), provided extraordinary service to the state; or brought honor to the state. An area is set aside within the Honolulu International Airport to exhibit displays honoring members of the order and their achievements.

Known by so many for his life filled with the aloha spirit, Senator Daniel Akaka was awarded the first-ever Aloha Order of Merit. Established by the legislature in 1993, the award is one of the state's highest honors.

Hawaii State Aloha Order of Merit:Aloha Order of Merit

To be considered for the Aloha Order of Merit , an individual must meet the criteria outlined in H.R.S. 5-7.6, which states that honorees shall have:

Achieved national or international recognition in their field either by a single event or by the totality of their work that has been either pioneering in their field or that has been outstanding in the long-term; and

(A) Contributed to the attainment of statehood for Hawaii;
(B) Devoted themselves to the betterment of the State, embodying the concept of the Aloha Spirit;
(C) Provided extraordinary service to the State; or
(D) Brought honor to the State.

The law designating the Aloha order of merit  is found in the Hawai'i Revised Statutes, Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section 5-7.6

Volume 1.
CHAPTER 5. EMBLEMS AND SYMBOLS.
SECTION 5-7.6
[§5-7.6] Aloha order of merit. (a) There is established the Aloha order of merit, within the office of the governor for administrative purposes, to honor individuals selected under this section. Individuals conferred the lifetime title of "member of the Aloha order of merit" shall be inducted into the order by the governor after receiving the approval of the legislature by concurrent resolution. Honorees shall have:

(1) Achieved national or international recognition in their field either by a single event or by the totality of their work that has been either pioneering in their field or that has been outstanding in the long-term; and

(2) (A) Contributed to the attainment of statehood for Hawaii;

(B) Devoted themselves to the betterment of the State, embodying the concept of the Aloha Spirit;

(C) Provided extraordinary service to the State; or

(D) Brought honor to the State.

(b) Honorees shall be selected by an Aloha order of merit committee. The committee shall consist of three members. Each member shall serve for a term of two years. One member of the committee shall be a member of the senate appointed by the president of the senate, one member of the committee shall be a member of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and one member of the committee shall be appointed by the governor.

(c) Nominations for honorees shall be accepted by the committee from members of the legislature, the governor, and the general public. Nominations shall be in the form and manner prescribed by the office of the governor. The committee shall establish criteria for selection and induction to ensure and maintain the prestige of the order. The committee may select or choose not to select any individual from the nominations received in any given year.

(d) Upon induction or as soon thereafter as may be necessary, the governor may award appropriate mementos to members of the order.

(e) The governor may request a member of the order to serve as an emissary for the people of Hawaii on appropriate occasions. [L 1993, c 231, §2]

[§5-7.7] Aloha order of merit location. There shall be set aside within the Honolulu International Airport an area to exhibit commemorative displays honoring members of the order. The displays may include likenesses of members and descriptions of the meritorious achievements of each member. [L 1993, c 231, §3]

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