President's grandson honors Queen Liliuokalani

Published On: Aug 30 2012 07:40:59 PM HST

Queen Liliuokalani considered him a friend -- U.S. President Grover Cleveland.

On Thursday, Cleveland's grandson visited the final resting place of the Queen.

Surrounded by religious and Hawaiian community leaders, George Cleveland visited the crypt at Mauna'ala that carries the remains of Queen Liliuokalani.

"It just magnified for me the importance and the love that Hawaiians still have for the Queen and I think the Queen definitely still has for Hawaii," said Cleveland.

Cleveland is here with the Cleveland-Liliuokalani education project.  His grandfather befriended the queen and fought hard to convince the U.S. Congress to withdraw a proposal annexing Hawaii to the U.S.  His efforts failed.

"I do know from reading that he had a deep and abiding interest in seeing Hawaii remain free.  It was truly one of the great disappointments of his second terms that he wasn't able to get the overthrow overthrown," said Cleveland.

Still today, Cleveland has been honored by Hawaiians for his efforts.  A Downtown Honolulu park even carries his name.

"We have photographs of the president but to have a descendant, a family member, is really something special," said Rev. Kaleo Patterson of the Pacific Justice & Reconciliation Center.

Cleveland shared with the group an autograph book that belonged to his grandmother.  Among the signatures -- Liliuokalani.  He's hoping through the project to help present the history of the queen and president, not only to Hawaii but around the world.

"There are school districts in the U.S. that are starting their history with the Great Depression so what happened to Hawaii doesn't matter at all," said Cleveland.

The book Cleveland shared is like a birthday book -- the queen's autograph on the page bearing Sept. 2.  Cleveland's visit honors the history of the queen on her birthday.


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