In anticipation of Veterans Day, Gov. Neil Abercrombie joined Hawaii veterans and community leaders to honor John Henry Felix, president, chairman and CEO of Hawaii Medical Assurance Association, Friday in the Governor’s Ceremonial Room at the Hawaii State Capitol.
Felix is being honored for his leading efforts to establish the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.
"Having worked with John Henry, Governor Waihee and the other members of Hawaii’s Congressional delegation at the time, I have a special appreciation for John Henry’s commitment to our veterans and their families," Abercrombie said. "Recognition of his efforts, particularly with regard to the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery, is long overdue. I am proud to join our veterans, veteran organizations and the people of Hawaii in saluting John Henry’s leadership, especially as Veterans Day nears."
"It is a true privilege to have played a role in helping assure this memorial park was established on behalf of Hawaii’s heroes," Felix said. "With Punchbowl cemetery nearing capacity, I felt there was a need to establish another final resting place for Hawaii’s veterans and their families. I believed that by forging a partnership with local elected officials and private entities, this much-needed memorial could become a reality.”
In January 1986, Felix brought together a broad coalition of individuals including Gov. John Waihee, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye and Abercrombie, a U.S. Congressman at the time, to make the new memorial cemetery possible. Felix donated more than 35 acres of land that, combined with neighboring state-owned land, made the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery a viable final resting place for country’s beloved heroes.