A moving ceremony at Magic Island Monday evening as thousands of lanterns were released into the water at the Memorial Day Lantern Floating Ceremony. 

The ceremony began with taiko drummers performing as an estimated 50-thousand people watched along the shore.

As the sun set over Magic Island, the sounding of the conch shell, began the annual tribute to those we've lost.

It was an evening of music, chanting, and hula.

Once the king tides rolled in, 7,000 lantern illuminated the waters, including the lantern John McLaughlin decorated in memory of his wife who recently died of leukemia. 

"45 years together, and I don't know what to do without her," said McLaughlin. 

With family and friends at McLaughlin's side, it was a time for them to reflect.

"It's emotional, it's really a wonderful experience," said Katie Pulaski. 

The experience helped McLaughlin realize-- he's not in this alone. 

"It moved my soul," said McLaughlin.