Veterans Day


Photo by Catherine Cluett

Molokai veterans held their heads and flags high as their marched through town on Veterans Day last Monday. Concluding their steps at the Veterans Memorial, the group honored each other and all those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

Originally called Armistice Day, President Wilson declared Nov. 11, 1919 — one year after the cessation of hostilities of World War I — as a day to commemorate the “war to end all wars” and honor its veterans, according to Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans Commander David Hafermann. Now, Veterans Day is the day the county recognizes all living veterans who have served in all wars.

“Veterans are America’s keeper,” quoted Hafermann. “All the values we have… are because of them.”

This year, Korean War veterans were particularly honored as part of Molokai’s observances. 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

“I’d like to thank each and every one of you for the freedom we have in this country,” said veteran Ted Johns.


5 Responses to “Veterans Day”

  1. capret89 says:

    Is it an optical illusion, or is the “State Flag” being flown HIGHER than “Old Glory”??

  2. janelee says:

    If you only look for negatives…you’ll find them in every situation. Honor those flags, not about which is taller, which is bigger, which is more colorful, etc. etc. Don’t create problems where there is none. We have enough to worry about in America, as it is.

  3. Kalikiano says:

    To answer capret89, “Yes, the state flag is being held higher than the US flag in that procession”. Herein lies a can of worms waiting to be opened; I wasn’t going to, but since this has now been observed and so stated, here goes: Official US flag etiquette, as formulated a great many years ago, stipulates a good number of things that have slipped through the cracks of common awareness in recent decades. One of these tenets states that the US flag may not be flown after sundown UNLESS a light, specifically intended to illuminate it, has been spotted on it (porchlights, etc., don’t qualify). Another item from the manual of Standard Flag Code specifies that in a procession (such as a parade), the US flag is held slightly higher than all other (non-national, i.e. ‘state flags’) flags arrayed with it.

    HOWEVER, several contentions arise in this context. 1) Many don’t care one way or another about Official US Flag Etiquette and others are completely unaware of these protocols anyway. ‘Honoring the flag’ means, strictly speaking, observing the official US flag code as it formally exists…which means lowering the state flag so that it rides slightly below the US flag in a parade. Another (but better known stipulation) is that the US flag is never allowed to touch the ground and I can think of few who would argue that modest request. 2) In this day of highly contentious attitudes towards the matter of US ‘colonisation’ of the islands and the Hawaiian autonomy movement, there are a substantial number of people who would argue that showing respect to the flag of a nation that literally took the islands by force (and overthrew the Hawaiian Monarchy) is lame and inappropriate, anyway. 3) But…there are those former veterans of the US Armed Forces who would quickly argue that point (quite forcibly), reminding us that they put their lives on the line for the United States of America during war and that since Hawaii is now a state (for better or worse), any other attitude is essentially inappropriate, irrelevant and dishonorable.

    OK. Bottom line is this: there’s no accounting for the varying attitudes and opinions of people and given a lack of understanding of and adherence to the Official US Flag Code (referenced above), most discussions like this end up quickly tuning into your typical internet mix-up, an opinionated, reactive free-for-all that generally disregards any facts or ‘truths’ implicit…so although I don’t necessarily agree with janelee (‘Don’t create problems where there’re none, etc.”) in the specific context of her remarks, I do agree with her that we can quickly end up getting bogged down in trivialities when there are far greater problems demanding serious consideration all around us today.

    Anyone who wishes to look into standard US flag etiquette may find some helpful information here: http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagcode.htm (but there are a great many URLs found on-line that give the full and unabbreviated US Flag Code.). As a Molokai Vet, I think most of my Koa Kahiko comrades would agree that the main object of our concerns at such time should rightfully be to honor the memory of, and sacrifices made by our uniformed brothers and sisters to defend the blessings of freedom from overt oppression and tyranny that all US citizens today enjoy.

    Malama pono!

  4. kalaniua ritte says:

    the guy holdin the hawn flag is former molokai high basketball great mike helm who is 6ʻ4the other guy is about 5ʻ8 so yeah the flag would be higher ….like its supposed to

  5. janelee says:

    We honor the American flag not because of some rule book. And yes, we don”t know all the rules. And yes, sometimes we don’t cross all the “t’s.” But we honor our sons, daughters, and fathers that fought to protect what that flag represent. For those of us who have lost loved ones and for those who came home from the war wounded, we honor them everyday and not only when we see the American flag in a parade. Look for poison elsewhere, its definitely not with us on Molokai.

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