On June 24th, which would have been Ellison Onizuka’s 71st birthday, HJCC president Wayne Ishihara attended a private dedication ceremony for a new exhibit featuring the late astronaut. The exhibit opened to the public on June 26th, and is the newest addition to the Okage Sama de historical gallery at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (JCCH). The dedication event included Onizuka’s family, friends, and distinguished guests.
Ellison Onizuka, who grew up in Kona and is the first Asian-American astronaut, died on the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion in 1986.
Current exhibit highlights include a 9ft model of the Challenger Space Shuttle, a genuine moon rock, an astronaut suit from astronaut Fred Haise of Apollo 13, and other memorabilia. However, the collection will be expanded in the coming months to include more of Onizuka’s personal items.
For more information about the Okage Sama de gallery at the JCCH, including hours and admission fees, please visit their website.