• Wednesday, October 17, 2018
  • 85°

Top News

President, first lady end busy day on Oahu with visit to Arizona Memorial

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump threw flowers at the USS Arizona Memorial.

  • JAMM AQUINO/JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    President Donald Trump greets servicemen after arriving aboard Air Force One.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Protesters gathered at the Capitol this afternoon.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump wear lei as they arrive at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam today. Trump begins a five country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump, accompanied by U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris, left, attends a briefing at U.S. Pacific Command in Aiea.

ADVERTISING

UPDATE 8:12 p.m.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump ended their busy, short trip to Oahu today with a solemn visit to the USS Arizona Memorial at sunset.

The couple stood for about a minute in front of the white marble wall etched with the names of the fallen during a wreath-laying ceremony, according to a White House media pool report. They adjusted the wreath slightly before two service-members placed it near the wall. The Trumps then threw white pikake petals into the water where the remains of more than 1,100 Arizona crewmen rest.

Many Trump staff-members also attended, including his chief of staff, retired Gen. John Kelly, and his advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The president received his second private military briefing of the day from Pacific Command leaders after his 20-minute tour, and briefly attended a reception at PACOM Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris’ residence, where the Trumps visited with PACOM staff and listened to a Marine band, according to the media pool report.

The first couple returned to their Waikiki hotel at 7:33 p.m., ending a nearly 19-hour day for the president, according to the report.

They depart Saturday morning to spend 10 days in Asia.

UPDATE: 7:39 p.m.

H-1 east-bound and the H-1 viaduct have been reopened after the presidential motorcade returned to Waikiki, HPD says. All surface streets are also reopened, but traffic restrictions at Kalakaua and Kuhio will remain in effect overnight, police said.

The Trumps are expected to leave Waikiki Saturday morning for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, which will force another H-1 west-bound closure, likely between 6 and 7 a.m.

UPDATE: 7:09 p.m.

The presidential motorcade is on the move back to Waikiki forcing the closure of east-bound H-1 and surface roads in Honolulu, including King, Kalakaua and Kapiolani. HPD tells motorists to expect delays.

UPDATE 6:57 p.m.

President Donald Trump paid a solemn visit today to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, a hallowed place he said he had read about, discussed and studied but had never visited until just before opening his first official visit to Asia.

Trump saluted after entering the memorial following a short boat ride with first lady Melania Trump. They approached a wreath of white flowers — a gift from the couple — and watched as two sailors who stood beside it at attention placed the wreath near a wall of names of the fallen.

Pearl Harbor was the scene of a surprise attack by Japan that plunged the U.S. into World War II, killing hundreds of service members.

After the wreath was placed, the Trumps tossed white flower petals into the waters above the battleship’s sunken hull.

Trump did not speak publicly at the memorial. He said during an earlier meeting today with military officials at U.S. Pacific Command that he eagerly anticipated the visit.

“We are going to visit very shortly, Pearl Harbor, which I’ve read about, spoken about, heard about, studied, but I haven’t seen. And that is going to be very exciting for me,” Trump said at the start of a briefing with leaders of the U.S. Pacific Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in the region.

>> From the Associated Press

UPDATE 6:05 p.m.

President Trump and the first lady visited the USS Arizona Memorial this evening after it was closed to the public. The couple laid a wreath at the memorial and tossed flower petals into the sunken hull of the battleship.

UPDATE 5:32 p.m.

President Trump took to Twitter to thank Hawaii for its welcome earlier today. “Thank you for such a beautiful welcome Hawaii. My great honor to visit @PacificCommand upon arrival. Heading to Pearl Harbor w/ @FLOTUS now,” he tweeted, using the abbreviation for first lady of the United States. The tweet included a video of his arrival in Honolulu this afternoon.

The president and Melania Trump are visiting the U.S. Arizona Memorial now.

UPDATE 5:03 p.m.

HPD says H-1 west-bound has been reopened. An east-bound closure is expected between 7 and 8 p.m.

UPDATE 4:57 p.m.

The presidential motorcade left Waikiki for Pearl Harbor at about 4:48 p.m. HPD says surface streets in Honolulu have been reopened. H-1 west-bound is expected to reopen shortly.

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.

H-1 west-bound from University Avenue and some surface roads are closed again as the presidential motorcade travels from Waikiki back to Pearl Harbor for President Trump’s first visit to the USS Arizona Memorial. HPD says Beretania, Kalakaua, Ala Moana, Kapiolani, King, and Piikoi closures are also in effect.

UPDATE 3:32 p.m.

The presidential motorcade rounded the corner into Waikiki at 2:56 p.m. Two limos bearing the executive flag and the U.S. flag were preceded by two Honolulu Police Department motorcycle officers. The executive cars were accompanied by a 17-vehicle motorcade, two emergency vehicles and an advance helicopter as they proceeded down Kuhio Avenue. The roadway was flanked by barricades and HPD bike patrol officers.

Scores of tourists and residents, including protestors and supporters, turned out to greet the procession. Some “boos” could be heard as the president’s vehicle entered Waikiki; however, there were also friendly faces in the crowd.

UPDATE: 3:08 p.m.

President Trump arrived at U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith at 1:43 p.m., and told reporters, “I tell you this is very special being in Hawaii,” he said.

A media pool report said the president seemed excited about his visit this evening to Pearl Harbor, “which I’ve read about, spoken about, heard about, studied, but I haven’t seen. And that is going to be very exciting for me.”

At Camp Smith, he held a meeting with Chief of Staff John Kelly, Pacific Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris and other top military leadership.

UPDATE: 3:04 p.m.

President Trump arrived in Waikiki just before 3 p.m. today. HPD says Kalakaua, Ala Moana, Beretania, King and Kapiolani roads are all open. But they warn: “Be prepared for additional closures. Still congested.”

UPDATE: 2:55 p.m.

East-bound roadways, including the Moanalua and H-1 freeways have been reopened as the presidential motorcade heads to Waikiki. However, HPD warns motorists: “Be prepared for closures later this PM.”

UPDATE: 2:08 p.m.

HPD traffic alerts: H1 east-bound closures beginning. Be aware that closures include overpasses and under-passes. King, Beretania, Kapiolani, Kalakaua, Ala Moana Boulevard closures in effect.

UPDATE: 1:50 p.m.

The H-1 Freeway has been reopened but Honolulu police report heavy traffic congestion in surrounding areas.

Police say that Kamehameha Highway west-bound in Pearl City and Aiea was “severely congested,” and they said motorists should be prepared for additional closures.

The presidential motorcade traveled from Hickam to U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith where Trump was expected to get a briefing from military leaders, including Pacific commander Adm. Harry B. Harris.

UPDATE: 1:38 p.m.

The presidential motorcade is on the move and police say H-1 east- and west-bound are closed, as is the Airport Viaduct east-bound.

UPDATE: 1:33 p.m.

President Trump, who earlier today extended his Asia trip by one day, told reporters on Air Force One that he had initially intended to spend that day in Hawaii again on his way back to Washington.

The president, who spoke to reporters on the plane for less than two minutes of the 9-1/2-hour flight, said he decided to extend the trip an extra day “because the following day is actually the most important day,” according to a media pool report.

Trump said he had planned to spend a day in Hawaii at the end of the trip, but canceled that plan to instead stay longer at the East Asian Summit in the Philippines, which follows the APEC conference in Vietnam, according to the pool report. “I’m going to spend the extra day at the second conference, which is a very important conference,” he said.

The president is expected to participate in a briefing at Pacific Command later today and to tour the USS Arizona Memorial at 5:25 p.m.

While on board Air Force One, the president tweeted, “Getting ready to land in Hawaii. Looking so much forward to meeting with our great Military/Veterans at Pearl Harbor!”

UPDATE: 1:22 p.m.

President Trump and the first lady were greeted on the Hickam tarmac by Gov. David Ige and his wife Dawn Amano-Ige, and Adm. Harry B. Harris and his wife, Bruni Bradley.

Nine-year-old Mikayla Webb, a fourth-grader at Waialua Elementary School, gave the couple lei and received a hug from Melania Trump.

The Trumps then walked over to shake hands with some of the roughly 150 people who gathered to welcome them to Hawaii.

UPDATE: 1:14 p.m.

Eastbound road closures, including H-1, have begun and Honolulu police warn motorists to also avoid the Waikiki area now that President Donald Trump has arrived on Oahu.

The presidential motorcade is expected to travel from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to Waikiki.

An HPD alert said, “There is heavy traffic in Waikiki on Kalakaua Ave due to lane closures. Avoid the area if possible.”

UPDATE: 12:56 p.m.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have arrived on Oahu for an overnight stopover before a 10-day trip to Asia.

Air Force One landed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam just before 1 p.m. today.

About 150 people are on hand to greet the president and first lady on the tarmac at Hickam, several of them wearing red “Make America great again” hats.

The crowd included uniformed members from various military branches and local GOP officials, including former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, state Reps. Gene Ward and Andria Tupola, and state Republican Party chairwoman Shirlene Ostrov. Adm. Harry B. Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, also attended.

The greeting party also included 9-year-old Mikayla Webb, a fourth-grader at Waialua Elementary School, who was chosen to welcome the Trumps with lei.

“I’m going to give the president and his wife a lei,” Mikayla said before the arrival. Asked what she would say to the couple, Mikayla said, “Aloha and welcome to the islands.”

Her mother, Tanya Webb, said Mikayla, who is part Native Hawaiian, was chosen because, “They wanted a Hawaiian, military girl to offer lei.” Michael’s father is Army Maj. David Webb, who works at U.S. Pacific Command.

Today’s visit is Trump’s first to Hawaii as president.

Previous coverage

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are en route to Hawaii today for a brief overnight stay on Oahu before a 10-day trip to Asia.

Although the president will be on island for less than 24 hours, he has packed his schedule with two meetings and a trip to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

Before boarding the Marine One helicopter on his way to Air Force One this morning, Trump said to reporters, “I will see you in Pearl Harbor. We are going to Pearl Harbor.” It will be Trump’s first visit to Hawaii as president.

Air Force One is expected to arrive at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam early this afternoon. As with any presidential visit, the trip means Honolulu motorists can expect several delays as the Trump’s motorcade travels between the Pearl Harbor area and Waikiki several times today, and once Saturday morning.

Motorists are warned to expect road closures, including the H-1 freeway, as the presidential motorcade moves eastbound 2 to 3 p.m. from the Pearl Harbor area to Waikiki; westbound from 4 to 5 p.m. from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor; and eastbound again from 7 to 8 p.m. as the motorcade heads back to Waikiki. City officials also advise the public to expect heavy traffic and delays during Trump’s visit, especially in the Waikiki area. Road and sidewalk closures on the west end of Waikiki will severely affect pedestrian and vehicle traffic from today to Saturday morning.

Trump’s agenda in Honolulu includes a trip to the USS Arizona Memorial and meetings with Gov. David Ige and other Pacific governors, and with U.S. Pacific Command leaders. His trip to the Arizona Memorial is expected after the park closure this evening since park officials said it will not affect visitors or normal operations today.

Trump’s busy agenda is a precursor to his Asia trip which is also filled with official meetings and international summits. Trump is visiting Tokyo Sunday, followed by South Korea, Beijing, Vietnam and the Philippines. Today, before departing for Hawaii, the White House announced that the president’s trip would be extended one day, to Nov. 14, to attend the East Asian Summit in the Philippines.

The Trumps are expected to be greeted on the tarmac this afternoon by Ige.

They are scheduled to leave for Tokyo Saturday morning, when weekend motorists can expect another delay as the motorcade travels from Waikiki to Hickam.

Oahu residents have plenty of experience with presidential visits. Hawaii-born former President Barack Obama and his family made many trips to the island, including annual Christmas vacations, over the course of his eight years in office.


This story will be updated throughout the day as the president’s trip to Hawaii progresses.


Comments (0)
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up