It's not something you see every day. The Honolulu Fire Department's honor guard, top brass and shiniest new firefighting equipment gathered in front one of Hawaii's oldest buildings.
From time to time, fire officials have made a point to honor their history.
"We are the only fire department established under a monarchy. In fact, Kamehameha the III and IV worked alongside firefighters to mitigate fires in and around Honolulu. So it’s an honor to be here to honor that legacy," said Chief Emmett Kane.
There are news clippings dating back to the detail the king at work helping to battle a burning ship in New York's harbor. One particular photo was taken in the early 1900's. It includes an early HFD-1 firetruck in all its glory with its hatchets and hoses.
"We can actually document the technology within the fire department From the time of horse-drawn wagons to the first mechanization to now the most cutting-edge firefighting apparatus you can aquire in the nation. You fast forward a hundred years and it shows how we have evolved from a fire department to a fire and all-hazards department,” Kane said.
Digital technology, high-pressure hoses and the like now sharpen the contrast with the new against the old.
The constant in all the photos: Iolani Palace and the enduring legacy of public service.
Years ago, in order to recognize Hawaii firefighters’ sacrifice and service, a section of Oahu's oldest cemetery was set aside in their honor.
The plots were purchased by the group that preceded what we now know today as the Fireman's Fund.
"Oahu Cemetery is one of them. We also have a plot at Windward Memorial Cemetery and the North Shore, in Kahaluu," said Kane.