comscore Letters: Remembering loss of a brother to war; UH claims huge amount of state’s limited funds; Refer to COVID-19 by its source: Wuhan, China | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Remembering loss of a brother to war; UH claims huge amount of state’s limited funds; Refer to COVID-19 by its source: Wuhan, China

Many people celebrate Memorial Day. However, there are those of us who observe it, those of us whose lives were forever changed.

My life was changed many years ago when, as a 6-year-old child, I answered the front door to see two young Marines in their crisp dress blues.

I knew my brother was fighting in Vietnam but as a child, I really did not understand what that meant. The Marines asked for my father, by his full name. My older sister stood behind me. She asked them what it was about. One of the men said that they needed to speak to my father first. My sister said he was out of town and sent me to my room, where I waited and wondered and waited.

Later that evening they told me my brother had been killed while fighting in that faraway jungle. I did not fully realize the enormity of what happened. I did not realize how I would spend every day wondering how my life would have been different if Jim had come home. Would I have made different decisions?

Even now, 54 years later, when I hear a song or see a movie that came out after he died, I wonder, What would Jim think about this? When I see a veteran wearing a veteran’s hat, I wonder, Would Jim wear one?

Lisa Peer



Lessons about what scars the body, mind

On Memorial Day we celebrate the men and women who died while in service to their country. We wave flags over their graves, yet forget those living survivors who bear the scars of body and mind.

Flag waving can seem shallow if we forget to stand for the eradication of the causes.

Indifference is a form of cruelty. Violence is an invitation to retaliation. Lying is lying, not alternative truth. Ignorance is the avoidance of fact. Prejudice is the practice of personality inferiority.

Bullying is cowardice hiding in aggression. Slavery is an economic issue. War is the practice of futility. My freedom before social responsibility is anarchy.

Kahu Dr. Richard Walenta

U.S. Navy chaplain, Vietnam



We can celebrate our willingness to contribute

How so very special and meaningful for us this Memorial Day to remember and honor those who have contributed — and those who continue to contribute — to the blessings in our lives. Their individual and collective examples and actions give us a better today, with the promise of an even better tomorrow.

Memorial Day gives us an opportunity to appreciate the innate goodness of humankind, as reflected by acts of caring, compassion and sacrifice. May it continue to remind us of the interconnectedness of peoples and bonds of shared past, present and future.

May that inner light of shared caring and compassion continue to shine through our expressed gratitude, in the giving of ourselves to the well-being and betterment of all, now and in Memorial Days to come.

Sam Hashimoto



UH claims huge amount of state’s limited funds

In justifying the level of state funding the University of Hawaii system receives, UH President David Lassner drags out the same tired old arguments that any school could make (“Invest in students to boost economy,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, May 26). Yes, it is true that the university employs many people and has a large payroll, but that doesn’t mean at least some of its funding can’t be directed elsewhere for the same economic benefit to the state. Why does UH get to hog so much of the available funds?

Lassner also pointed to the increased lifetime earning potential of its graduates, but conveniently omits mention of the many students who don’t get to go there because their high schools are too underfunded to meet their needs. What is their earning potential?

Lassner portrays the UH as a great economic engine, but it hardly has had the same impact on our daily lives as some of the great universities on the mainland that have generated entire new industries. What justifies its claim on so much of the state budget?

Edward D. Lasky

Hawaii Kai


Refer to COVID-19 by its source: Wuhan, China

In 1918, at least 50 million people worldwide died from the Spanish Flu, although scientists weren’t at all sure the flu originated in Spain.

The article, “Variants of concern now the majority of COVID-19 cases in state, with U.K. variant now dominant in Hawaii” (Star-Advertiser, Top News, May 26), repeatedly referred to the California, United Kingdom, Brazil and South African variants. Yet COVID-19 is not labeled the “Wuhan virus” or the “China virus.”

The Star-Advertiser also reported that the Biden administration will investigate whether the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory, despite previously downplaying this idea when the previous administration raised the same question (“Biden asks U.S. intel officials to investigate COVID-19 origin,” Top News, May 26).

Meanwhile, the United States faces continuing criticism for not sharing vaccines with the developing world. Sad, because if the virus were referred to by its place of origin — Wuhan — then perhaps China, not the U.S., would be facing more pressure to help solve a problem it created.

David L. Mulliken



Solutions for Falls of Clyde, Haiku Stairs

I appreciate the newspaper keeping us updated on Falls of Clyde and the Haiku Stairs. It is sad that our new and old leaders so quickly wish to dispose of historic and interesting items. I would hope for solutions.

Why can’t we drydock the Falls of Clyde for The Friends of Falls of Clyde to restore? Save a part of history.

I celebrate former Mayor Kirk Caldwell for working to save the Haiku Stairs as a vital asset for our island. I am disappointed that current leadership does not have the wisdom and problem-solving capabilities to arrange permanent access to this attraction. I am disappointed in our American ingenuity.

Ryan Routh



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