President George W. Bush speaks to reporters during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit earlier this week in Bangkok, Thailand. The president is scheduled to leave from Australia for Honolulu today, as part of a trip that also has included the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, and Bali.

Full day
for Bush visit

The president's trip will
only last 12 hours, but
includes 2 fund-raisers


Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003

>> The Navy deeded the USS Missouri battleship to the USS Missouri Memorial Association. A Page A1 story yesterday incorrectly said it was deeded to the USS Arizona Memorial Association.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

President Bush's first visit to Hawaii tomorrow since assuming office will be brief -- about 12 hours -- and heavy on GOP fund-raising, including a $10,000-a-ticket event to benefit the state Republican Party.

From John Kennedy at the Arizona Memorial to George Bush in Kahala waters to Bill Clinton at Hickam, presidents enjoy Hawaii. See story.

Republican party officials confirmed yesterday that Bush will attend an invitation-only fund-raiser at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental hotel. Bush will attend the reception for about 30 minutes of the hourlong event.

Bush is already set to attend an evening fund-raiser at the Hilton Hawaiian Village tomorrow night. That event has tickets priced at $2,000 and $1,000 and will raise money for the Bush-Cheney '04 re-election campaign.

The president, however, also agreed to help the local GOP raise money for its coordinated campaign for next year's elections, according to Brennon Morioka, GOP executive director. He said that the local Republican Party had requested Bush's help.

The fund-raiser will be for about 20 GOP supporters willing to pay $10,000 for the chance to mingle with Bush, Morioka said.

"We were lucky to get something that could fit into his schedule," Morioka said.

The president is stopping here on his way back to Washington after a weeklong trip to Asia.

Bush's visit, the first by a U.S. president since Sept. 11, 2001, will also have some of the strictest security restrictions of any presidential visit here.

His planned tour of Pearl Harbor by barge and stops at the USS Arizona Memorial and the battleship USS Missouri will not be open to the public. He will also visit a Pearl Harbor-area school.

While the Missouri will be closed for public tours tomorrow morning, the National Park Service, which operates the Arizona Memorial and visitor center, would not say what hours it will be running shuttles to the memorial or whether the visitor center will remain open during Bush's visit.

Even Bush's morning arrival and evening departure from Hickam Air Force Base will be closed to the public.

However, several hundred military service members and their families may be allowed along the fence line when Bush and first lady Laura Bush leave for the mainland tomorrow night on Air Force One.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hickam, like other bases and military posts, requires anyone entering to show a military identification card, and cars are subject to random searches.

The military declined to say what type of security precautions will be taken during Bush's time on the island. However, based on past presidential and foreign dignitary visits, it can be assumed that Hawaii Air National Guard F-15 jet fighters, whose sole mission is to provide 24-hour protection of Hawaii skies, will be airborne.

Bush is provided with his own U.S. Secret Service bodyguards and specially armored limousines.

While in Pearl Harbor, visiting dignitaries also are given added protection by patrols of small well-armed craft monitoring everything in the channel.

In addition to the Pearl Harbor visit and the fund-raisers, Bush is expected to meet with leaders of 13 Pacific islands who are at the East-West Center this week discussing security issues.

Security and the fight against terrorism have been major themes of Bush's trip, during which he has attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Thailand and visited the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, and Bali. The president is scheduled to leave from Australia for Honolulu today.

Guam Gov. Felix Camacho said he plans to meet with Bush at the East-West Center's Seventh Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, which began today in Manoa.

A Guam television station reported that the East-West Center conference of Pacific island leaders was originally scheduled for November, but was moved up to accommodate Bush.

According to a news release from Camacho's office, the governor plans to reiterate Guam's value in the ongoing development of U.S.-China relations.

A news release from the East-West Center yesterday said only that Bush had been invited to meet the delegates.

Bush's visits to two of the island's most popular military memorials -- the USS Arizona Memorial and the nearby USS Missouri -- continues a tradition that spans 40 years. Every president since John F. Kennedy has visited the Arizona Memorial at least once while in office.

In 1991, Bush's father laid a wreath at the memorial and met with survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack during the 50th commemoration of the attack on the Pacific Fleet

The memorial is under the supervision of the National Park Service and the Missouri is run by a private non-profit corporation and is anchored at Ford Island.

The 184-foot alabaster memorial to the sailors who died on Dec. 7, 1941, spans the midsection of the sunken battleship Arizona where 945 are still entombed. A total of 1,104 officers and sailors and 73 Marines of the Arizona were killed after the battleship was hit by at least two bombs during the Japanese surprise attack on the Navy's Pacific Fleet.

Two warships -- the Arizona and the Utah -- were never salvaged. During the attack, 2,388 men, women and children were killed. Of the 334 sailors from the Arizona who survived the attack fewer than 50 are believed to be living today. A few, along with veterans from other Dec. 7 ships, will attend tomorrow's services.

After the Missouri was decommissioned and placed in the Navy's mothball fleet on the West Coast, Bush's father was instrumental in the Navy's 1998 decision to deed the battleship to the USS Arizona Memorial Association, which he now serves as honorary chairman. He made two visits to Pearl Harbor, first in 1990 and then a year later.


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