By Dave Donnelly

Friday, September 14, 2001

Heavy hearts
but solid resolve
grip Americans

AS you may have guessed, it's no easy task writing a light-hearted column about goings on in Hawaii when there are so many heavy hearts throughout a nation whose president has announced we're at war. The only question is, with whom? To their credit, all the television networks have been showing around-the-clock coverage -- all without commercials, at a tremendous cost to them -- that first dealt largely with the tragedy surrounding the destruction by suicide-minded terrorists of the World Trade Center. The emphasis is now centering more on Washington and the response the government is likely to make once the identity of those responsible is determined for certain. There is a resolve among Americans, mixed with personal grief to be sure, but Osama bin Laden, if he is, as widely assumed, behind the sneak attack, will surely pay dearly for underestimating America and Americans. One lasting image in the coverage was a group of fully equipped machinists, the very people who built the World Trade Center, showing up to do what they could to help dismantle and clear out the rubble. As one large African American stood among the group, the reporter said, "One man showed up, carrying only a shovel." From the expression on his face, he looked as prepared as America is, to dig through to Afghanistan or wherever he was asked, to wreak havoc on those who have brought war to America's soil. And when the scene cut back to the news anchor in the ABC studio, coincidentally also black, he repeated just as I had done, "carrying only a shovel." ...

Flags are waving

WHEN Tom Brokaw showed a photo of three firefighters raising an American flag on the rubble left from the collapsed World Trade Center, he first said it called to mind the famous photo of Marines pushing aloft a flag on Iwo Jima. Then he fell silent, apologizing a moment later for letting his emotions get the best of him. He needn't feel weak -- everyone's emotions are being wrenched these days, but not so much that revenge won't be extracted. Gov. Ben Cayetano ordered all state flags lowered to half-staff, but the JPOs at Waimalu Elementary School in Aiea were a step ahead of him. Fully aware of what was going on in America, these fifth- and sixth-graders made a unilateral decision at 7:30 a.m. to lower their flag to half-staff ...

What's on and off

WHAT with lengthy delays facing those entering military bases, the Army Community Theatre is canceling performances of "My Fair Lady" tonight and tomorrow and "The Debutante Ball" Readers Theater production on Sunday ... Other productions will continue as planned, and the 15th annual Ko Olina Skippy Kamakawiwo'ole men's outrigger canoe race will take place as scheduled Sunday, a 32-mile race from Maunalua Bay to Ko Olina Marina. The NFL is canceling Sunday's football games, Major League Baseball has called off some games, and other sporting events have also been canceled. Things, we are told, will return to normal on Monday, including the stock market. Airlines have already begun flying again, and many feel it's important that we get back to a degree of normalcy, even if we are in fact at war ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.

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