Two other states, California and Utah, have already proclaimed Fred Korematsu day, but not Hawaii.
It wasn't until Hawaii high school students wrote a letter to Gov. Abercrombie asking to make it happen -- and it did.
"Dear Governor Abercrombie," began Nicole Verdadro. She and her Waialua High School classmates wrote letters last year.
"It was big to me and it felt important and I felt like he should be honored for it," said Verdadro.
A few months later, she got a letter back:
"And attached to it was a proclamation," said Chun.
"Being here today and seeing all these children, seeing his documentary, to have this day be a day recognized by the state of Hawaii, he would have been so touched," said Karen Korematsu, trying to hold back the tears.
"I just want to wish him a Happy Birthday and honor him today," said Farrington High School student Shai-lynn Ranchez-Langit.
Sen. Les Ihara has introduced a bill in the 2013 legislative session to make Korematsu Day live in perpetuity.