Friday, September 14, 2001

America Attacked

More than 1,500 people gathered at last night's
interfaith service at Punchbowl for the
victims of the terrorist attacks.

Prayer, patriotism
at Punchbowl

Hawaii's diversity was reflected
at last night's memorial service

By Mary Adamski

Comforting words and music about peace and healing mixed with a military leader's vow to "root out the immoral, implacable foe" as prayer and patriotism were combined last night at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

"We will light our many candles and drive out the darkness that is terrorism," Adm. Dennis Blair, commander of U.S. Pacific Forces, told the crowd of more than 1,500 people at the service of prayers for the United States and the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

Schoen and Nenny Safotu lit candles and prayed
at last night's interfaith religious service at the
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

Blair, Gov. Ben Cayetano and Mayor Jeremy Harris laid a wreath at the memorial after Blair's remarks, which drew comparisons to Dec. 7, 1941, when "Hawaii was at ground zero."

Just as Pearl Harbor did not demoralize America, the Tuesday attacks "will cause America to stand up. Virtually all our friends are ready to wage battle with us," Blair told the audience, who were given miniature American flags and candles as they arrived. The death count from this week will be double or triple the Pearl Harbor toll, he said.

Honolulu's head start on the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, which President Bush called for today, reflected Hawaii's unique diversity.

A Hawaiian chant by Kamaki Kanahele asked that people learn from the events and that the "decisions our leaders make may be pono, correct."

Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Jewish clergy read from sacred scriptures and invoked divine blessings from their own perspectives.

Pauline Hernandez was among those at the interfaith
religious service at the National Memorial Cemetery
of the Pacific at Punchbowl last night.

A representative of the Muslim community in Hawaii condemned the terrorist attack as a violation of Islamic beliefs. Hakim Ouansafi called for "the hatred ... to be replaced with love, compassion and mercy."

The Hawaii Celtic Pipes and Drums played "Amazing Grace," and the Royal Hawaiian Band and Honolulu Boy Choir led the crowd in singing the national anthem and other patriotic songs.

Uniformed contingents from the Honolulu Police Department and Honolulu Fire Department marched to their seats in formation in tribute to the emergency services workers who died in the rescue effort at the World Trade Center. Several people from the crowd came forward to shake hands and offer thanks to them after the service.

Thelma Morales came from Ewa Beach with her fiance and two daughters because, she said, "I wanted to teach what America is about, to show that America will bounce back." She wore a hand-lettered T-shirt that read "In God we Trust. Our America."

"I'm here because this is my country," said Lester Scheringer, a World War II veteran and visitor from New Mexico, one of hundreds of people who took the city up on its offer of a free shuttle from Blaisdell Center.

Faye Irvine came with her parents and three children, one singing in the Boy Choir. As a mother and an intermediate school teacher, she had spent the week trying to put the terrorism in context for children, and said the service helped her in doing that.

"My students say they (terrorists) are 'calling the United States out.' They were already asking about the draft."

Eileen Medvec said, "I needed to be here." People sitting around her nodded their heads in agreement.

Therapy offered in wake of attack

Here is a list of hospitals and agencies offering free counseling services to help deal with the terrorist attacks:

>> Queen's Medical Center: Stress debriefing group will meet at 3 p.m. today at the Counseling Clinical Services office. Call 547-4401.

>> Castle Medical Center: Call 263-5400.

>> Child & Family Service: Call 681-3500.

>> Community Health Centers on:

Oahu: Call 832-5770.

Big Island: Call 974-4300.

Kauai: Call 274-3190.

Maui: Call 984-2150.

>> American Red Cross: Call 734-2101. For neighbor islands, call 800-853-9991.

>> Maui Memorial Medical Center: Community counseling Monday in the auditorium, 4-5:30 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m.

Hawaii impacts at a glance

>> Schools: All public schools are open. As part of today's "National Day of Prayer and Remembrance," Superintendent Paul LeMahieu asked all public schools to set aside a time, at noon if possible, to participate in an appropriate activity to show respect for the victims of terrorist attacks.

>> Memorials: The Battleship Missouri Memorial and the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor are closed until further notice.

>> Military bases: All bases are open only to those with military identification.

>> Parks: The Haleakala National Park summit road leading to the U.S. Department of Defense space surveillance complex is closed to the public until further notice. But the Haleakala Visitor Center parking lot at the 9,700-foot level is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

>> Stock market: U.S. stock markets were closed today but are scheduled to reopen Monday.

>> Airports: All the major state airports were opened yesterday.

Isle to stand with nation in mourning

The state was to observe the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance today at noon at the state Capitol Rotunda.

The half-hour ceremony was to be open to the public. Gov. Ben Cayetano asked those who could not attend to "pause at noon for their own personal observance." All state offices were to remain open.

Churches across the state also wereasked to ring their bells at noon. Here are a few of the religious services that were planned for today:

>> Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe held an 8 a.m. service in Dewey Square. Base commander Brigadier Gen. Jerry C. McAbee spoke, and the Marine Forces Pacific Band and base chapel choir performed.

>> YMCA of Honolulu was to hold a 12:30 p.m. candle lighting service in the Nuuanu YMCA lobby, 1441 Pali Hwy. Motorists could make drive-through donations to a disaster relief fund collection underway from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the parking lot.

>> St. Andrew's Cathedral was to hold a noon vigil service. The bells were to be tolled. The cathedral and Parke chapel were open for personal prayer and meditation.

>> Cornerstone Fellowship Mililani Mauka, 95-1080 Ukuwai St., was to hold noon prayer.

>> Honolulu Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2313 Nuuanu Ave., was to be open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. for candlelight service. Other Adventist churches were to hold vigils and services.

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin