As a participant of the February 2016 aha (Native Hawaiian Convention), it was a privilege to work with Hawaiians coming from a cross section of America and our Native Hawaiian community which included: (1) professors of law, ethnic and Hawaiian studies, economics, communication; (2) farmers/fishermen; (3) school teachers and principals; (4) lawyers; (5) cultural practitioners; (6) PhD candidates; (7) retired judges and military; (8) community organizers; (9) law students; (10) former/current senators/representatives; and (11) a physician. The youngest, 21, the oldest, 92. In my view, this diversity enabled us to create a constitution that truly represents our people.
As a pilot, I’ve been to Japan many times and am proud to have flown some of the first relief flights after the Fukushima disaster. Last June, I went as a tourist with family and friends. I was content to let others determine our itinerary, except that I knew I wanted to visit Hiroshima. We arrived by train in the afternoon, then took a bus to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where the first atomic bomb exploded 600 meters above the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, now known as the A-Bomb Dome. “Little Boy” was set to detonate at that altitude to maximize its destructive force. In less time than it’s taken to read these words, 140,000 souls were vaporized, incinerated or died other unimaginably horrifying deaths. The memorial, while serenely beautiful, is also educational. At the adjacent museum one can learn of a horror that’s impossible to comprehend, that threatens us all even more today.