An Associated Press article this week discussed the release of the Hawaii quarter, the last in that long series of circulating commemorative U.S. coins. -Editor< Still reveling in the election of the first Hawaii-born U.S. president, the islands marked the issuance of its state quarter the last in the 50-state quarter program.
Hawaii's banks began distributing the quarter Monday to hundreds of coin collectors in lines snaking down Bishop Street, the heart of the downtown business district.
Adults had to buy the coins in $10 rolls, but Gov. Linda Lingle and U.S. Mint Director Ed Roy handed out free coins to children.
"We ask each of you to take the Hawaii quarter with you around the world and be ambassadors of aloha," said Jonathan Johnson, head of the Hawaii State Quarter Commission.
The quarter shows King Kamehameha the Great, the Hawaiian warrior who united the Hawaiian islands under his rule in the early 1800s, standing with his left arm outstretched.
Underneath is a map of the main Hawaiian islands and the state's motto in Hawaiian, "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono." The motto translates to "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."
Horner explained the motto means people doing the right thing allows the people and land to endure. "That's a beautiful message of aloha to send out to all of the people in the world," he said.
The design was the overwhelming favorite of the 26,000 people who voted online for their preferred design. Design possibilities that were rejected included a surfer and a hula dancer.
The ceremony had lots of Hawaii flavor: participants wore ceremonial flower leis, and eight elementary school-age dancers from Halau Olapakuikalai O Hokuaulani of Kaneohe performed the hula.
Speakers, including Roy, shouted loud greetings of "aloha" to the crowd.
Last week, much of Hawaii celebrated President-elect Obama's victory. He won 72 percent of the vote in his native state. Only the District of Columbia gave Obama a higher percentage of the vote.
Edmund C. Moy, the U.S. Mint director, said it was bittersweet day because the Hawaii quarter marks the end of the wildly popular 50-state quarter program.
The Mint plans to follow the current program with coins for the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories: Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.
To read the complete article, see: Hawaii's quarter marks end of nationwide program (ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j_RwJlhwAfsTd57862i4WYYxGp0wD94CKG100)
This article was published by the Honolulu Advertiser on Monday. -Editor
Thousands of people lined Bishop Square today to trade in their $10 bills for a roll of new "Hawai'i quarters," which complete the U.S. Mint's 50 State Quarters Program.
People stood in line three abreast for hours today to get their hands on the last quarter in the series, which features a likeness of King Kamehameha I, the island chain and Hawai'i's state motto, "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."
Gov. Linda Lingle and Ed Moy, director of the mint, passed out single quarters to schoolchildren who attended today's launch as adults lined up to exchange their currency into new Hawai'i quarters.
To read the complete article, see: Thousands waited hours in Downtown to get hands on new Hawaii quarter (http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/
Wayne Homren, Editor
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