Waikiki natatorium dishonors the dead
I occasionally swam at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. I thought it was wise to have a useful memorial rather than the statutes of generals on horseback that plague parks and courthouses on the mainland.
Now I must weigh changing my mind after reading an article by Brian Ireland, a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, about the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium in the Hawaiian Journal of History.
He writes, "Rather than simply paying tribute to the dead, the Waikiki War Memorial actually promotes militarism. It is a triumphalist monument to the glory of war, which dishonors the dead by masking the horror of mechanized trench warfare behind a pretty face and noble but misleading words ...
"In fact, the dead were used in death as they were in life, as sacrifices to the gods of war, to militarism, colonialism and nationalism."
It is something to think about when I next swim near the natatorium.
Charles E. Frankel
Manger scene turns dismay to elation
I was disappointed to learn there wouldn't be a nativity scene at Honolulu Hale this Christmas. But my disappointment turned to joy Saturday when I saw that Healthy Hawaii Coalition had set up a beautiful manger scene with Jesus.
I want to thank the group's founder and president, Mike Gabbard, for choosing this theme for their display. It would have been a big letdown if the real meaning of Christmas hadn't been represented this year.
People of Hawaii should save valley
The discussion regarding the saving of Waimea Valley
through some form of public-private partnership is on everyone's mind. I suggest the people of Hawaii take it upon ourselves to protect this valuable resource ourselves through a private land trust. We must not depend on government, at any level, to do it for us.
Why? Government-owned lands are not as safe or as well protected as lands owned by private land trusts.
Politicians tend to span the range between conservationist and nonconservationist. Many aren't necessarily anti-environmental in their hearts, but they're forced to deal with so many competing interests that they might not always make wise decisions about the public lands that have been placed in their care.
Also, elected officials come and go. On those rare occasions when "green" politicians are in control, public lands will be protected. But times change and elections happen. Public lands that originally were acquired with resource conservation in mind can easily fall into the clutches of "brown" politicians who have no interest in conservation.
Jeffrey Kalani Alameida
Hauula keiki excited by rescue helicopters
Last week the familiar yellow and blue helicopters of the Honolulu fire and police departments hovered over our little elementary school as rescuers diligently sought to find the grandmother of one of our students
. The excitement of noisy helicopters overhead increased the anxiety of our kindergarten students, who kept asking "Did they find her yet?" How wonderful it was for our children to witness first hand our faithful community helpers doing what they do best -- helping others in need!
The cheers and smiles of our little ones radiated such love and appreciation for our heroes in blue. Thank you for your example and for being incredible role models for our youth to look up to.
Airport stranger saved her Thanksgiving
I was frantic, trying to get to the airport to fly to Lanai in the Thanksgiving eve Honolulu traffic. I was supposed to take an airline I had never heard of before, having moved here from California a few months ago. I could not, for the life of me, find this tiny little airline.
I called my daughter for directions, to no avail. She could not figure out where I was, and I did not know what she was talking about, either.
In the parking lot of the post office near the airport, a woman overheard my frantic conversation. She offered me a ride in her car to the airline. I loaded my oversized bag into her trunk and we were there in a flash. She told me she did it because she believes in spreading the aloha.
I just want her to know how much I appreciate her gesture.
I vow that if the occasion to go out of my way for a stranger in need arises, I will also spread the aloha. Thank you for your help. Happy holidays, too.