Lunch cost teaches lesson about life
Regarding "Let students have cheap second lunches" (Letters, Aug. 12
), by Kahuku High School student Tiffany James: Tiffany, welcome to the real world, where lunches do in fact cost more than $1.25. The fact that your school lunches are subsidized already should make you happy for the deal of a lunch. Now you realize how much your school lunch really costs when you buy a second helping.
When you graduate from high school and have to buy your own lunches with no subsidy, you'll appreciate even the $4 price, because in the real world it's more than twice that.
Nobody is trying to kill bike messengers
I thought that someone who actually is a bike messenger should offer an opinion on this issue of who is, and who is not, a hero ("If troops are heroes, so are bike messengers," Letters, Aug. 10
I have worked as a bike messenger in Honolulu since April 2004. I have ridden my bike in all kinds of weather and in all sorts of road and traffic conditions. All this while carrying as much as 50 pounds of cargo on my back.
Yes, it is dangerous, and some bike messengers have been killed on the job, though never in Honolulu. But if a bike messenger, lobsterman, truck driver or farmer gets killed on the job, it is usually caused by an accident. I have accepted the fact that I can get hurt, even killed, on the job. That's just part of the risk. But, while I am riding my bike, I am fairly certain that there isn't someone out there gunning for me.
However, nearly 3,700 U.S. military personnel have been killed in Iraq since we invaded that country, and they were killed on purpose. These were not accidents. If you can get out of bed and do your job, knowing that someone is out there looking for an opportunity to kill you, that takes real courage. That takes heroism.
Patriotism can be expressed many ways
Thank you to Tammy Kubo (Letters, Aug. 11
) for expressing her patriotism and pride that her son has decided to join the military. My two brothers fought and were wounded in Italy and France in World War II; another brother served in the occupation of Japan. My husband delayed his college graduation and joined the military Intelligence service during the Korean conflict and graduated after he served. I am grateful to and proud of all of them.
My only hope for Tammy's son is that the unconstitutionally waged war in Iraq will be over by the time his training is over.
Patriotism is not only military service. Patriotism is not only being willing to die for one's country, but to live for one's country.
Patriotism is participating in our government "of the people, by the people and for the people" by voting, expressing ourselves to our representatives in Congress and Honolulu, participating in local government and educating ourselves so we can participate effectively and wisely. Patriotism includes telling our president he is wrong when he is wrong.
'Voluntary' and 'hero' have deeper meanings
Rosita Sipirok-Siregar (Letters, Aug. 12
) believes that the words "heroes" and "voluntary" are misused, but an etymology search reveals that her definitions are incorrect.
A hero is not someone who simply "works hard, is honest, helps others and holds high morale standards." No, these are the MINIMUM standards for a responsible and accountable person. The origin of "hero" is a word meaning "demigod" and refers to a man with superhuman strength and courage.
The origin of the word "voluntary" refers to the concept of free will, not free labor. A later definition referred to military that joined of their own volition.
Our service members are not conscripted. Rather, they volunteer to pick up arms, step forward and say, "I could lose my life but I'll do it." How do you pay accordingly for that? Substandard medical care for veterans? Low pay for enlisted personnel? Deployment after deployment with little time for family? I'm surprised we still have all-volunteer armed forces. Thank goodness "heroes" step forward regardless.
Formerly of Hawaii
Don't clutter Kailua with extraneous 'Town'
The article "Transforming Kailua Town" in Sunday's Star-Bulletin
bugs me in a special way. It is not the plans of Kaneohe Ranch I object to, but renaming this place Kailua "Town." Who decides to slap a "Town" on Kailua? I used to live in Kaneohe, not Kaneohe Town. I've seen this done at Haleiwa Town, Koloa Town and elsewhere. It drives me nuts. Lately I've seen "Hawaii Island" and, last week, "Kauai Island."
Am I alone in my despair?