A research team discovered corpses of 16 Filipinos in a mass grave in Hawaii on October 20.
Victims are believed to be rallyists and among those killed at the ‘1924 Hanapepe Massacre’ in Kauai in 1924.
On September 9, 1924, 16 Filipino plantation strikers and four deputized civilians were killed in the massacre and were buried in the Hawaii mass grave.
A team of the Filipino-American National Historical Society Hawaii State Chapter discovered the pit at Hanapepe Filipino Cemetery, just a few feet away from the concrete marker with the inscription ‘Born 1886. Died Sept. 9. 1924.’
The team used ground-penetrating radar equipment and a divining rod to detect what the team called “ground anomalies” lined parallel to one another.
“I’m excited and anxious at the same time. The primitive and modern technologies brought closure to a big missing piece to a major tragedy in Kauai’s history and Filipino American history,” Mike Miranda of the FANHS chapter said.
Emmy-winning independent filmmaker Stephanie Castillo and the Oahu crew captured the discovery at the pit. Castillo and Oahu will use the footage for the documentary ‘The Hanapepe Massacre Mystery,’ which is set to be released in 2024, on the 100th anniversary of the massacre.
“For 95 years, nobody knew where this grave was. Today we’re sure enough. We know where it is.”
“Because of their sacrifices, a lot of Hawaii’s workers have better working conditions,” Miranda said.