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Can-do spirit will serve Japan well

I lived in Japan as an American citizen throughout World War II. As such, my family endured the same air raids and the post-war struggles that faced everyone.

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Looking back at those dark and desolate days, when cities familiar to me as a child, such as Yokohama and Tokyo, were flattened, when nothing ran or worked, the food supply was meager and the Japanese felt the stigma of defeat, somehow over time something remarkable happened. Japan recovered. In fact, it excelled in building a model nation.

That can-do spirit, supported in no small way by a magnanimous America, rebuilt Japan to become the admired country it is today. I hope that spirit will once again enable Japan to hoist high the Rising Sun.

With family members and friends in Japan, and with my mother interred atop the Bluff in Yokohama, I say "Ganbare Nippon mo ichido!" (Persevere, Japan, once more!)

Joe Hale


Prayers sent out for Hawaii, too

While it was with very heavy hearts and much sadness that we witnessed the destruction in Japan, those of us who are visitors to Hawaii on a regular basis watched TV screens around the world with great apprehension, much angst and terrible fear for the inevitable tsunami that bore down on Hawaii, without knowing what potential devastation could befall a place that we, though not blessed to be residents, consider a home in our hearts.

Please allow me to let the people of the islands know that a tremendous number of prayers were said for your safety and well-being. While we may not be considered kamaaina, we still would like to consider ourselves to be ohana.

Robert Gibson
Toronto, Canada


Not all islands warned sufficiently

As a visitor during the tsunami evacuation in Lahaina, I would like to express my gratitude. The people of Maui were patient and respectful during the process.

My husband and I grabbed our belongings from our hotel and drove to a hillside, along with 40 other cars. We introduced ourselves to each other, shared supplies, stories, etc.

The one issue I hope Hawaii authorities address is the lack of information given to those on islands other than Oahu. Most of the radio news was about Oahu. As tourists, we were not familiar with the roads mentioned or where the shelters were located. Our hotel, which is not staffed after 8 p.m., simply left a printed note on the door, telling people to evacuate to two locations. No addresses were provided.

I am assuming a large number of the population at any given time in the islands are tourists, most of whom are unfamiliar with tsunami protocol.

Jan Myers
Salem, Ore.


Good Samaritan helped with horses

Evacuating the horses on the Dillingham Ranch and Polo Fields in Waialua to higher ground went smoothly, thanks to Paolo Costa, the Dillingham Ranch manager. While he made sure his family was safe at home, he went to the ranch to coordinate and help.

Far into the early morning hours, as the tsunami approached, people haltered nervous horses to lead them in the dark and the rain to safer ground. Paolo was there in case anyone needed help.

The moment I arrived I did not have to fend for myself and search for a place to put my horse. He was already there to give me directions. That simple act removed a lot of worry for me, which was essential to remaining calm while getting a nervous horse moved in the middle of the night to an unknown place while it senses some danger in the air.

Thank you, Paulo Costa, and thank you to your family members for their support.

Cecilia Hutchings


Don’t raid state hurricane fund

With the recent threat of a tsunami, how can our legislators seriously think about raiding our hurricane relief fund to balance the state budget? Keep our money for the reason it was collected.

Since our state budget is a disaster waiting to happen, maybe our bright legislators can change its name to Disaster Relief Fund, then balance our state budget.

Matt Hee


Weather Service earned its keep

It’s too bad the local media didn’t get a chance to interview the local Republican and tea party leaders during the recent tsunami alert.

They could have asked whether the Republicans and tea partyers were unhappy that their proposed 30 percent budget cut ($126 million) for the National Weather Service, the agency that runs the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii, hadn’t already been made.

Peter Knerr


Muslim hearings simply divisive

Sadly, U.S. Rep. Peter King of New York has begun hearings into the "radicalization of the American Muslim community."

Stigmatizing one religious group is a shameful example of the politics of division.

It is dangerous, counter-productive, and contrary to the values upon which our great nation was founded.

I hope and pray King will change the focus of these hearings so that Americans of all faiths can work together to end the violence of terrorism.

Elizabeth Winternitz-Russell

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