The Power of Exploration – 12th Annual Lacy Veach Day
Ka Punahou, Oʻahu —
By Michi H. Wong (October 26, 2013).
The Thompson twins played happily, running around the stage, inconspicuously small against the giant screen, now nightly lit by an orb of spotlights. Moments before the auditorium was filled with an audience of rapt students, parents and teachers. The screen was filled with the image of our blue planet from space, the Hawaiian Islands framed by the window of the U.S. Columbia space shuttle, and to the left, a stone adz from Hawai‘i floating weightless inside the capsule.
The photograph was taken by astronaut Lacy Veach in 1992 during the voyage No Nā Mamo, For the Children as Nainoa navigated Hōkūle‘a to Rarotonga.
The ethereal image captured the essence of the keynote address delivered by Nainoa Thompson for Lacy Veach Day at Punahou School: Theirs was a story of friendship, often maintained over long distances, and at times interrupted by seemingly insurmountable challenges. But because they held on to their dreams, the seeds of the Worldwide Voyage were planted long ago.
When they could, they met once a year in Hilo, sat and talked in the middle of lava fields, where the black surface absorbs the light, and the stars shine brightly. Inspired by stars and bound by friendship, Nainoa and Lacy made good on their promise to teach children to want to explore, to nourish minds and hearts, and to empower them with a greater awareness of the specialness of life on our planet earth.
Back at the PVS educational booth, we crew members hosted scores of children and their parents, sharing stories about sailing Hōkūle‘a, star navigation, and the upcoming Worldwide Voyage.
One special visitor from the island of Hawai‘i was moved by Nainoa’s tribute. Lacy’s sister Diana had heard the story of Nainoa and Lacy, explorers and friends, and the depths of their dreams for a worldwide voyage. This, however, was the first time she had heard Nainoa tell the story since her brother passed away 18 years ago. And she remembered.
“When we figure out how to live well on our islands, we will have the most important gift we can give to the earth, and that is hope.” Lacy Veach