Veterans Corner: ‘A Day to Remember’

Community Contributed

By Jesse Church

Aloha all my fellow veterans and people of Molokai, old Jesse here with all the veterans news and upcoming events. Friday, Aug. 14 will go down as the Day to Remember in Molokai’s history. With a truly great crowd of veterans and nonveterans, Molokai’s new Veterans Center was officially opened and dedicated, a fantastic day for the veterans of Molokai. After a 10-year battle with the county government of Maui, the Molokai veterans have won the war and we have our center.

It was a war that saw many skirmishes – we won some and lost some. It saw many verbal skirmishes, a lawsuit by Molokai’s veterans, and many late night phone calls to the late Larry Helm by then-mayor Charmaine Tavares. But regardless of all the nonsensical objections, Molokai’s veterans have persevered. The veterans’ battle to gain this center should be an example to all of Molokai of courage, endurance and perseverance to gain something you want with a true determination and spirit necessary to endure the battle. My only sorrow is for the formidable price we paid in human life – we lost more than 50 veterans over the building years. They were good men and women who did whatever they could to help the cause and wanted to live to see the Veterans Center completion. I think they’re looking down on this day saying “you did a good job.” Molokai’s veterans have rewritten that old saying, “You cannot fight city hall.”

I hope that everyone who attended “the day to remember” enjoyed themselves and liked the center. It’s a beautiful building and I am sure it will be put to good use by our veterans, future veterans and people of Molokai. I am disappointed to say I myself was not able to attend due to being on Oahu for unforeseen medical circumstances. All of you in attendance on Friday, please give old Jesse a call at 553-3323 and let me know your thoughts about the new Veterans Center and grand opening. I am very anxious to know what everybody thinks so give old Jesse a call, I need your opinion.

An event like the grand opening of the Molokai Veterans Center happens only once in a lifetime on Molokai, and I really hope everyone who could be there, went. It’s a date that when people talk about it 25 years from now, they will remember exactly where they were.

Now we have to make the center work for us, so if you have an event coming up, call the Veterans Center and ask for Alan and he can tell you the rates for the meeting hall or kitchen, the number is 553-8387.

Let’s write to all of Molokai’s service members and tell them about the “Day to Remember” and send them pictures. Let’s support all our brave men and women in uniform, and for all stationed overseas especially those in harm’s way, let’s all wish them a speedy and safe return home. Remember old Jesse loves every man, woman and child on Molokai from my heart, you are my family. Have a great week, aloha.

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