Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

President Obama visits family grave

Barack Obama takes a bite of his shave ice while on holiday in Kailua, Hawaii (AP)
President Barack Obama waves as he walks through Honolulu Zoo (AP)

US President Barack Obama has ended his Hawaiian holiday on a sombre note by taking his daughters to visit his grandfather's grave.

The president's motorcade travelled to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl on the island of Oahu and Mr Obama, along with daughters Malia and Sasha, briefly visited the grave of his maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham.

Mr Obama was brought up by his grandparents in Hawaii for much of his childhood. He often returned to the island as an adult to visit his grandmother, who died in the final days of the 2008 presidential campaign.

The Obamas later stopped at Honolulu Zoo and the president's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her family joined them for a private tour after the facility had closed to the public. The Obamas were due to leave Hawaii for Washington on Tuesday.

They spent their final day in Hawaii at Pyramid Rock, a secluded beach on a nearby Marine base.

Mr Obama later took his family and friends to Island Snow for shave ice, a Hawaiian snow cone. The local shop is a favourite of the first family - the president took his daughters there earlier in their trip, which has lasted nearly two weeks.

Dressed in a white polo shirt, black shorts, flip flops and a Chicago White Sox baseball cap, Mr Obama paid for the treats for his large entourage with a 100 dollar bill (worth about £64.50).

He stopped to greet crowds that gathered nearby, shaking hands and posing for pictures in the most public outing of his vacation.

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