Marines' sacrifice leaves a great void
Today I learned that three members of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division based at Kaneohe had died while serving their country in Anbar province, Iraq. These 2nd Battalion Marines were the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Max Galeai, the Fox Company commander; Capt. Phillip Dykeman; and Cpl. Marcus Preudhomme.
Almost 40 years ago I was writing my father, who was then executive officer of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam, and I can clearly recall my pride that he was so honorably serving his country in a war on the other side of the world and my concern for his safety. I am sure the families of these three American heroes shared these same feelings and now are experiencing a great sense of loss and unspeakable sadness.
As an American I just wanted to take one moment to say to these families what many Americans are thinking. I am so sorry for the loss of your loved ones and so grateful that they had the courage to serve our country as they did.
Joseph Gutheinz Jr.
Stop treating the poor like they're criminals
I'm tired of waking up in the morning only to read about the loss of another freedom. Two recent headlines were about the city proposing a $2-$3 toll just to drive into downtown at rush hour and yet another story about evicting the homeless people under the H-1 viaduct, who have nowhere else to go. Law by law it seems the state has been doing everything it can to make being homeless and/or poor a crime. From taking pets away from these people to the almost weekly beach sweeps, what do they really hope to accomplish?
I know that a lot of people who do have homes are just a stone's throw away from being homeless. The cost of living continues to rise, while wages are stagnant if not declining. So is jail what awaits us all? Does running into a hardship in life now equate to being a criminal, for not being financially secure enough not to be an eyesore to a tourist? I often wonder how the leaders of this state can even stand to look at themselves in the mirror.
Beloved Pearl City coach did it right
A wise man once said, "You only go around once in life, but if you do it right, once is enough." Mel Seki did it right!
Mel did it right by becoming an All Star shortstop on one of St. Louis High School's powerhouse baseball teams. He did it right when he married Laura, the kindest, most gentle lady you could ever hope to meet. Mel and Laura did it right when they had two sons, David and Steven, two of the finest gentlemen I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. And Mel did it right when he spent almost all of his life dedicated to one of his greatest passions, baseball.
Mel was a coach's coach, a player's coach and a fan's coach. He could take his team and beat yours, then take your team and beat his. My son and nephew are two of hundreds of players who benefited from Mel's expertise and knowledge of the game.
Mel, in the words of another wise man, "Thanks for the memories."
History will be kind to President Bush
President George W. Bush's administration ends in less than six months, and he is now in Europe where he will take part in the annual U.S. European Union summit. He'll visit and bid farewell to his close friends and allies at the Vatican, Germany, France, Italy, England and Ireland. His presence there will exert pressure on his allies and remind them that harsher measures against Iran are needed to prevent nuclear warheads in their plan.
In the meantime, his wife, Laura, is in Afghanistan to visit another ally that became a democratic nation in the Middle East during the Bush administration. The only president in American history who planted democracy in the heart of Islamic homelands, such as Afghanistan and Iraq. And he maintained good relationships with Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and other moderate nations in North Africa.
George W. Bush will be considered by history as one of the greatest American presidents of all time.
Bernardo P. Benigno
So they haven't come for you ... yet
It has been a while since the national reaction to 9/11 allowed the abrogation of the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps it's time for a rewriting of a poem from the end of World War II. Here is my version of an update, with thanks to Pastor Martin Niemoller, 1892-1984.
"When patriots are not vigilant"
When the Bushites came for the terrorists,
I remained silent;
I was not a terrorist.
When they locked up the Muslims,
I remained silent;
I was not a Muslim.
When they invaded the oil nations,
I did not speak out;
I did not own any oil fields.
When they secretly spied on aliens,
I remained silent;
I wasn't an alien.
When they came for me,
There was no one left to speak out.
John J. Scarry III