Flags began flying at half staff earlier this week to honor the late Iroojlaplap and President Imata Jabro Kabua, who died in Honolulu last month.
A large crowd turned out Tuesday at Amata Kabua International Airport to greet the US Marines aircraft that transported Kabua’s family and his remains from Honolulu. He was transported directly to the Nitijela for a state funeral.
He was hailed by President Hilda Heine at the state funeral as “truly a man of the people” and one who had a significant impact on agreements for US use of Kwajalein Atoll for the benefit of Marshallese.
In addition to Heine, Speaker Kenneth Kedi, Irooj Katwell Jormelu and Senator Christopher Loeak spoke at the event, which was blessed by Rev. Palukne Johnny, president of the United Church of Christ.
Emcee Antari Elbon read condolence messages from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Assistant Secretary of the Interior Doug Domenech, US Space and Missile Defense Command Commander Lt. General James Dickinson, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Japan Ambassador Norio Saito and Russian Federation Ambassador Igor Khovaev.
The family was scheduled to continue to Kwajalein on the United Airline’s flight Thursday this week for funeral services at Ebeye Protestant Church and ultimate burial there.
Read more about this in the October 4, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.