Maui Lahaina fires| TEACHERS TO RETURN TO WORK? Children STILL MISSING from Lahaina! Where are they?

Maui Lahaina fires| TEACHERS TO RETURN TO WORK? Children STILL MISSING from Lahaina! Where are they?
Maui Lahaina fires| Missing Kids Teachers leads efforts to remember the kids of Lahaina
Maui Lahaina fires| Teachers from Elementary School give interview| Where are the children?
Down the Rabbit Hole News provides commentary to this tragedy
Lahaina teacher leads efforts to remember children killed and missing after wildfires.

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Nearly three weeks after deadly wildfires swept through parts of West Maui, community members are honoring the 115 dead as well as the hundreds still missing. NPR's Kira Wakeam brings us a story of one Lahaina teacher leading efforts to remember local children.

KIRA WAKEAM, BYLINE: Kiley Adolpho is a third grade teacher at Princess Nahi'ena'ena Elementary School in Lahaina. And she has just one hope.

KILEY ADOLPHO: I want people to remember their faces, not just names.

WAKEAM: While most schools in the area remained closed after the fires, she and a group of teachers decided they needed somewhere to remember the students they've lost.

ADOLPHO: We wanted a visual representation of the people we love. We wanted to see each other, to share each other's spirit.

WAKEAM: They've created a memorial here at Kelawea Mauka Makai Park, roughly a mile from the water. Perched along a mountainside with sweeping views of the now decimated Lahaina town, Adolpho says, before the fires, this park was the place to be for kids.

ADOLPHO: Coming down the hill every day, you see the children running, just running. And they stopped right here to be picked up by their parents, waiting for their friends from other schools from the top side.

WAKEAM: The memorial includes posters of two young victims and an ahu, a Native Hawaiian altar made of stones from a local stream and native plants. Adolpho, whose native Hawaiian, visits the park daily to tend to the ahu, water its plants and greet visitors. On this day, she's talking to Trinette Furtado and Kamiki Carter of Maui Rapid Response, a locally run disaster response team.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Cherry cookie, chocolate cherry cheesecake, peanut butter, vanilla fudge.

ADOLPHO: Let me give you a hug first.

WAKEAM: The two were delivering food, water and ice cream in the neighborhood when they spotted Kiley and decided to help her publicize the memorial on Facebook.

ADOLPHO: Are we doing it under one minute, because I know there's just a…

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Just put it. There's no – just do it.

ADOLPHO: (Laughter) OK.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: I am not…

WAKEAM: Adolpho is trying to get the word out and encourages anyone who's grieving to share their memories here.

ADOLPHO: I'm hoping that they'll continue to come because the story will continue so no one forgets.

WAKEAM: Kellie Perez also teaches at Princess Nahi'ena'ena Elementary School. She and her husband drove up to deliver supplies to a nearby community resource hub. She taught one of the deceased students, 7-year-old Tony Takafua.

KELLIE PEREZ: We had just started our first day of kindergarten. Everybody was there. And he stood up very proudly and he said, I'm tall because I'm Tongan. And I said, yes, you are, sweet boy. Now let's have a great year.

WAKEAM: For her, having a place she can come and share memories of Tony like this one have helped her grieve.

Kira Wakeam, NPR News, Maui.

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29 Comments

  1. I’m gonna say it, if those kids have perished, then just tell the truth so the families and Island can start truly healing.

    1. Facts Chico … nothing can’t begin healing until the whole truth is told. While unanswered obvious questions still remain the wound remains open and the pain increases. 😢 💔🙏

  2. This is probably the saddest disaster i can remember. I mean where i am we experienced flooding in 2019. The flood didnt recede for better part of the year . But our kids were ok. Thats the difference.

  3. Thank you for sharing this, this definitely needs to be known and shared. I hope you and baby bunny are doing well. ❤️‍🩹

  4. Every time I watch another video on this it makes me cry. It is just so evil what they did to these families.

  5. My heart is breaking so bad. Where is our government. She is looking for her students 💔Teachers were offered paid administrative leave but that doesn’t help with their pain. They would rather have their students back in the classrooms 💔

    1. They were offered leave so they would be out of the way, they may be the only ones left that knows how many are gone. The evildoers knows how to do this. Not their first time

  6. I’m so glad I don’t live in that country… What a mess. Prayers to all the children who fell victim. Children don’t have a chance it seems over there. Praying for all of you during these times.🙏🙏🙏

    1. @KelfI agree with you completely. Some just seem more drastic than others to people on the outside looking in I guess. It just breaks my Heart for so many going through so much over and over again there. I just want to pick everybody up and bring them here to be safe. I don’t know much, I only know what I watch on channels so it may not be as bad as it comes across. I am just glad there are channels like this that can bring us information. Everybody here is praying for those people and all the people in the other states going through things.🙏♥️

    2. Hawaiians aren’t really American. Hawaii is under military occupation. It’s hard for a lot of Americans but especially hard for Hawaiians.

    3. @j m I did not know that thank you!!!! I feel so bad for all the Hawaiians right now.. I could not even begin to imagine what each and every one of them are going through right now.

  7. Everyone one of our politicians is bought and paid for. We allow unlimited money to go to them as “speech”. We have got to unite as one nation and say enough is enough. Be strong✊ ❤

  8. It kills me that they are sticking to the 100 missing, where are the other 1900 kids, let alone the others that are missing. Listening to the survivors in the water, there were hundreds that drowned in the 8 hours they were in the water alone. This story line is such BS. Did you see the UN ships showed up with hundreds of these pop up houses

  9. I just don’t understand how they’re sticking to these same obviously wrong numbers. Why can’t they just tell the truth and let these families heal. This is heartbreaking on a whole other level than I thought possible 🙏 💔 😢

  10. I’ve noticed the same kind of wiggling & crawling like snakes in Lahaina that FEMA & local officials have done during every disaster, natural or otherwise as far back as Katrina, but I’m sure it’s longer than that. There are people still living in questionably safe FEMA trailers in close proximity to other trailers more than a decade after they lost their homes & land.

    The most terrifying part is FEMA is Congressionally designated to take over if there is a national threat. It’s bad enough having elected officials that don’t really answer to their constituents, but I don’t remember getting a chance to elect anyone from that 🐍-filled agency. 😡

  11. I’m crying for this teacher who cannot find 230 students. Will we ever know how many children, families, and the homeless died in this tragedy? No one can speak for the children when entire families are gone. No can can speak for the homeless.

    1. I listened to the plan that the school board put together and it appears they have come up with a workable, short term solution, to getting these kids back in school. It is the first time that I have seen any type of entity pull together and make the best of what they have to work with. Until they can rebuild schools closer to home, compromises will have to be reached. If the parents can’t facilitate home schooling, they will have to work through what the district has to offer. It is not that complicated. The absolute worse thing they can do is put education on a back burner.

  12. Honey, my brother was in the Maui fires with his granddaughter. I live in New Orleans. I have been bending backwards trying to help. I call Jeremiah council. I told them every single bit of news I knew. And they wanted to know how I knew that. Informati told them they didn’t need to know but I told them I have family and I want to help.
    I was told.
    Not to call back. Because when I mention the children. What happened to the missing hit a nerve?
    Somebody knows something somewhere.
    And we as people. Need to find out what happened to the children we cannot let discover up continue. These children have names, families, and they resting place, they deserve respect. And simply aren’t getting it.
    I have all day and I have a phone and I’ve got the internet if I can do anything for you in any way shape or form name. I have family and Maui. And I have friends in Lahaina. Tell me what you need, tell me what it’s done.
    Mahalo

  13. Each teacher needs to write down the names of the students they are missing. Once they do they can cross reference the lists to make sure each name isn’t on multiple lists. Then put them all together and get a total list of each child missing.

  14. My heart breaks for these teachers and families. I had a fire.. lost almost everything.. some man driving by. Walked through the fire. Got my daught and grand children as well as our pets out safely. I am so blessed to have them.
    I helped teach kids when i was younger. Drove disabled children to and from school later in life. I have never forgotten one of them. I couldnt imagine to loose that meny students or my family. The thought makes me cry.
    God bless these teachers for remembering these children. I pray for everyone on that island. God speed to all.

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