Aloha, folks. I thought I’d take this moment to wish everyone a very pleasant Memorial Day weekend. While this is certainly a national holiday, it definitely strikes close to home for those of us in the islands. Here in Hawaii, we undoubtedly have a strong tie to the United States military. Pearl Harbor, what many consider to be the turning point of World War II, is just down the highway from downtown Honolulu and memorializes the fallen heroes of that indelible point in world history. Then there are the countless men and women, both enlisted and civilian, that have served in all the branches of service decade after decade, through times of both war and peace, in the numerous bases here in the 50th state that we call home.
While you may or may not agree with our military and/or foreign policy, that’s a question of politics and should not dissuade you from honoring and memorializing those who have served regardless of the powers that be, regardless of the man in the Oval Office. It’s not really the President that our military serves, it’s us the American citizens – Democrats, Republicans, male, female, white, Hawaiian, black, Latino, Asian, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, young, old, the weak and the strong.
As most Americans, here in Hawaii or elsewhere, are prone to enjoying holiday weekends because of the extra day off work, each holiday does have its true reason for existence. So as we BBQ with friends in Kapiolani Park, enjoy tomorrow evening’s Lantern ceremony in the waters of Ala Moana, take a trip with the family up to North Shore — of Kauai, hike to the Lanikai pillboxes, drive out to Hana or up to Mauna Kea or do absolutely nothing at all, let’s remember for at least one moment to say thanks for those of us who have chosen to help preserve the American borders and our way of life.