Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement in recognition of Hawaii Statehood Day:
"Hawaii's transition from a territory to a state in 1959 was a tremendous event that forever changed the islands we love, and today Hawaii is a modern, vibrant state of nearly 1.4 million people. Statehood Day holds a personal significance for me, as it marks the year I became a naturalized U.S. citizen after arriving in Hawaii as a young girl. In fact, I still remember pinning the star to the flag in elementary school when Hawaii became a state. And just as statehood changed Hawaii, citizenship helped me take advantage of the incredible opportunities available in this country.
"As we mark Hawaii's statehood today, we must recognize the range of emotions it has inspired throughout the years. In particular, we must acknowledge historic injustices against Native Hawaiians, and continue to support federal recognition, as well as adequate funding for programs and partnerships to provide better services for this important community."