Hawaii residents have reasons to be grateful
THIS THANKSGIVING holiday, Hawaii residents around the state, along with our fellow Americans across the country, will gather with family and friends to give thanks for all that we hold dear and enjoy.
In Hawaii, we are especially blessed to be surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of the islands, a vibrant economy that contributes to our rising quality of life, a diverse culture that welcomes friends from near and far, and the unmistakable aloha spirit that ties each of us to this special place we call home.
Thanksgiving in Hawaii will be celebrated in many different ways -- a family picnic on the beach, preparing kalua turkey in a backyard imu, a quick run to the store to get a jump on holiday shopping, watching football or a traditional feast around the dinner table.
Many of our residents will be on the job this Thanksgiving Day serving others. We extend our appreciation to our first responders (police, sheriffs, firefighters, paramedics/ emergency medical service personnel, hospital workers, lifeguards and civil defense workers) who ensure our health and safety; hotel, airline and restaurant employees who will give our visitors an island Thanksgiving to remember; and the many other dedicated workers who keep our state moving forward.
STAR-BULLETIN / 2004
Angelika Sliwowski, 4, served up some candied yams last year during the Thanksgiving of Hope outdoor meal service, organized by Sharon Black, at Bethel and Hotel Streets.
In what has become a valued part of our holiday tradition, hundreds of caring Hawaii residents will volunteer their time and reach out to those who are less fortunate by serving meals to the homeless, the needy and the lonely. These selfless individuals represent the countless Hawaii residents who generously lend a helping hand -- not just today, but throughout the year -- and touch the lives of our fellow residents and strengthen our communities.
This Thanksgiving we are also grateful for the recent homecoming of the first wave of Hawaii National Guard and Reserve troops after an 18-month deployment to the Middle East. We are proud of their courage and grateful for their service to protect our freedom and spread peace and democracy throughout the world. But we cannot forget those who are still serving overseas and the daily sacrifices they and their families are making for our country.
From our ohana to yours, we wish all Hawaii residents a happy Thanksgiving. It is our hope that your hearts will be filled with thanks and your homes filled with the warmth and enjoyment of your loved ones.
Aloha e malama pono!
Linda Lingle is governor and James R. "Duke" Aiona Jr. is lieutenant governor of Hawaii.