Sunday, March 03, 2024|
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Hilo wall event was
‘an amazing success’
As a U.S. Navy veteran, Hilo resident for 35 years, and board secretary for the all-volunteer nonprofit, Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial Inc., it was an honor to be a small part of an immense number of other volunteers and organizations that helped “The Wall That Heals” to be selected and set up in Hilo. The five-day event was an amazing success.
My expectation on the day of the Welcome Home Ceremony was to hear expressions of appreciation and gratitude for all of the work done by the organizations and volunteers who made this first-time visit to Hawaii happen. The speech by the master of ceremonies made reference only to a VFW Post and to himself and his wife as being the ones responsible for bringing the the wall to Hilo.
HIVM Inc. Chairman of the Board and Vietnam combat veteran Michael Doolittle was instrumental in the wall coming to Hilo for its first visit to Hawaii. Air Force veteran Tom Wojszynski, the wall committee’s COO, created the website for the Hilo wall event. He skillfully organized many of the complex sequential work efforts required of the wall committee members. Their effective and tireless teamwork made it all happen.
It was disappointing to me that the Welcome Home Ceremony was not briefly suspended with an announcement made for the imminent flyover. The perfectly timed arrival by the Air National Guard’s four-plane Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors with their midflight missing-man transition happened precisely as planned at noon. The commander of the F-22 Missing Man formation was Maj. Kealoha Kaawaloa from Hilo. His friends and family members in the audience would have been proud to hear his name announced.
Not a word was said about Mayor Mitch Roth’s enthusiastic support for the project, or about Hawaii County splitting the costs with Maui County for round-trip shipping between the mainland and Hawaii. No mention was made of HIVM’s partnership and its fiduciary responsibilities as a nonprofit corporation (required by Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund) to collect all mailed and online donations for the wall.
Not a word of recognition or gratitude was expressed by the MC for any of the hundreds of participants and organizations who donated money or spent hundreds of hours of their time making this amazing perfect-weather event happen.
Civil Defense radio
alerts need updates
Mahalo to our Civil Defense Agency for keeping us informed during storms, volcano activity, road closures and so on.
Need updates throughout the day. Some radio stations are playing your morning briefings in the afternoon, eight ours later.
Keep up the good work.
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