to the Editor

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Friday, July 3, 1998

People have forgotten how to respect the flag

As the Fourth of July nears, I sincerely hope you will print the following. It is one of the most poignant writings I have come across.

I wish a framed copy was made available to every classroom across the nation. The author is unknown to me, but it has and will continue to touch the hearts of us all, young and old.

Skip Crawford


Some people call me Old Glory, others call me the Star-Spangled Banner, but whatever they call me, I am your flag, the flag of the United States of America.

I remember some time ago people lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parade, and naturally, I was always there, proudly waving in the breeze.

When your daddy saw me coming, he immediately removed his hat and placed it over his heart. Remember your little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you, with her hand over her heart. Remember?

What happened? I'm still the same old flag. Oh, I have added a few more stars since you were a boy, and a lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago. But I don't feel as proud as I used to. When I come down your street, you just stand there with your hands in your pockets. I may get a small glance but then you look away.

I see the children running around and shouting. They don't seem to know who I am. I saw one man take off his hat and looked around. He didn't see anybody else with his hat off so he quickly put his back on. Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I've been? Anzio, Normandy, Omaha Beach, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Tarawa, Leyte, Korea and Vietnam.

Take a look at the memorial honor rolls some time. Look at the names of those who never came back in order to keep this republic free. One nation, under God. When you salute me, you are actually saluting them.

Well, it won't be long until I'll be coming down your street again. So, when you see me, stand straight, place your right hand over your heart. I'll salute you by waving back. And I'll know that you remembered.

Miraculously, state finds $30 million at election time

Is it a miracle or smoke and mirrors? Two months ago the state was broke. We needed the economic revitalization program or we'd die.

But now, the state has $30 million that didn't exist before. Could it be that the economy turned around by itself, or is it just that the election is coming?

If it's the former, the politicians need be replaced for being clueless. If it's the latter, for duplicity.

Elwood Mott
(Via the Internet)

It's dumb to support pay-at-the-pump scheme

Why do people keep talking about the pay-at-the-pump insurance scheme? Isn't it clear that this would just punish good drivers, who have earned preferential rates, and visitors from the mainland, who already pay for normal insurance?

Hello, State of Hawaii! Are live bodies present on your payroll? Can we please nip this stupidity in the bud? And can we please all stop electing people who must insult our intelligence by floating this kind of perfectly idiotic test balloon?

Mike Pettingill

MADD needs volunteers in drunk-driving wars

I was deeply touched when many people throughout Hawaii recently paused to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Bucky Lake crash and to reflect on the tragedy caused by drinking and driving. Both my grandmother and aunt were killed in that crash.

Now, 10 years later, my family and I have learned to live with the changes in our lives that resulted from this disaster. Although none of us will ever be the same, we have tried to rebuild our lives and look toward a brighter tomorrow.

I continue to have a deep aloha for the people in Hawaii for their outpouring of love and caring, both then and now. I also have tremendous gratitude for the people at Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who gave me guidance, emotional support and showed me the road to recovery.

I hope that other people will be spared from having their lives shattered by a drunk driver like mine was. Don't wait for this to happen to you or to someone you love. By getting involved now, you can help prevent future crashes.

MADD needs volunteers in the war against drunk driving. Please support this wonderful organization. And, please, if you choose to drink, have a designated driver.

Stacy McEver
Kennesaw, Ga.

Photo showed loving parent endangering his child

I was appalled at the sight of a father riding a bike while carrying his 1-year-old son in a Star-Bulletin photo. While the photo portrays a loving father enjoying time with his two little sons, it also portrays a potentially fatal situation.

What would have happened to that baby if the bike had hit a rock, a pot hole or any of the other hazards bike riders encounter and the father lost control? I hope other parents won't look at the photo and decide to take their infants on such a hazardous excursion.

Judy Franz
(Via the Internet)

Governor deserves support for standing up to trustees

Governor Cayetano took a courageous action when he called for an investigation of actions taken by the Bishop Estate trustees. He took on the "big boys" and, as we all know, the attorney general has faced an uphill battle in obtaining information vital to this investigation.

The majority of the trustees have done everything in their power to delay and hamper all efforts to get to the truth. So why should we believe Linda Lingle when she says that having Hoaliku Drake, mother of trustee Henry Peters, on her campaign will have no effect on her judgment regarding this issue?

After reading about all the interrogation and pressure tactics that Drake's son and the majority of trustees have been using to get information as to who leaked the lousy accreditation report, what makes you think they won't do the same to influence Lingle?

Cayetano has shown us where he stands. Now we need to stand with him.

Roy L. Benham

Bishop Estate Archive

Death of Sammy Steamboat brings renewed salty tears

The last time I walked out to the end of the Kuhio pier, the day before I left Hawaii, had one nice south swell pumpin'. An old-timer was out there with his paipo and, brah, he was rippin'!

The salt on my cheeks that day wasn't all from the sea wind, and I can taste it today again as I read about Sammy Steamboat's passing. Aloha, Sammy, and thanks for the memories.

Mark LaBarre
Rockville, Md.

(Via the Internet)

Souki is effective as House speaker

Joe Souki has a track record few in the history of Hawaii can claim. He has been a House speaker who has earned the respect and admiration of House minority members, who account for more than 21 percent of the House. He has the uncanny ability to get 51 people to work together for the common good.

It doesn't make sense to me, nor will it make sense to the people in House District 8, to retire one of the most accomplished and successful leaders they and the state of Hawaii have ever had, and replace him with an unknown and unproven candidate.

Mike Maberry
Kula, Maui

Criticism of canoe pageant was misguided nitpicking

Steve Shelby's June 27 letter showed his ignorance about the Ala Wai Pageant, held as part of the dedication of the Hawaii Convention Center. Was he so intent on the paddlers that he completely lost sight of the real message being portrayed?

First of all, the paddlers weren't required to be of Hawaiian descent to participate but instead represented Hawaii's unique multi-heritage ethnicities.

As for canoes being used to carry the dancers and court, what should have been used instead? Barges, speed boats, surfboards? The double-hull canoe has been used by Polynesians for hundreds of years.

Shelby further states that the paddlers should have been in "Hawaiian attire." Just what is Hawaiian attire?

His most ridiculous statement, however, was to question the appearance of gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle on one of the canoes. Lingle was nowhere near a canoe, much less on a canoe.

R.M.K. Allen
King Kamehameha
Celebration Commission
State Council on Hawaiian Heritage

Monorail would improve Leeward, Central commute

Now is the time to reconsider building an elevated monorail system. Take a drive to Waipahu at 7:15 in the morning and observe the traffic tie-up on the opposite side that is increasing each year.

Imagine a park-and-ride elevated monorail from Waianae and Mililani, which would end in the Aala Park area. Envisage a train station at Aala Park, where people get off and take the shuttle buses into town and to their destinations.

There are several advantages. An accident on the freeway can tie up traffic for hours, whereas the elevated monorail will bypass all obstructions. It would be unnecessary to go underground in the town area. And since the monorail ends at Aala Park, the aesthetic view of the town and waterfront area would not be impeded.

Robert S.K. Kam

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