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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, January 30, 2005

Letters to the Editor

What defense is there for 'mission'?

As I sit in my home, high on the hill on Marine Corps Base Hawai'i, I can almost see the Marines, in their pressed Alphas, knocking on my neighbors' doors to tell them that the brave ones they loved are lost.

I watch CNN and see the defensive posture of the commander in chief, and wonder how he can defend his mission of freedom while my neighbors prepare for a life without a father.

My husband is deployed, but I know that he is alive, for now.

My sympathies to those who are not so lucky.

Nikki Wirtz
Marine Corps Base Hawai'i, Kane'ohe

Get out now before any more are killed

It's all nice and good to support our troops with yellow ribbons on our cars, but they would be better supported if we demanded they be brought home, now!

With 27 Kane'ohe Marines killed, the most lost from the same base, in the deadliest day of the war, condolences are nice, but where is the outrage — from citizens and the media? Is it the dead don't count unless we know them personally?

We should cut our losses and get out now before one more soldier is gone forever.

Beth Greenhill

What are our children dying for?

The tragic loss of 27 of Hawai'i's sons again brings into sharp view the fiasco that is the United States' occupation of Iraq.

Our children are dying every day, and for what? We already toppled Saddam Hussein, there aren't any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and as far as I know, Osama bin Laden is still running around in the mountains of Afghanistan.

And by the way, if anybody tells me again that we're there to spread the virtues of democracy, I swear I'll scream! What almighty place did America come from that allowed us to force others to "let freedom ring"? It seems to me that President Bush has plenty to worry about at his own front door than to be worrying about kicking in the front doors of others in the name of democracy.

I'm with Sen. Ted Kennedy — America should today state loudly and clearly that we intend to immediately begin pulling our troops out of Iraq the day after today's election. To do anything less would be wrong, for to risk the lives of our sons and daughters but one more day without a clear purpose is just plain irresponsible.

Enough is enough, already!

James Kauhi
Makawao, Maui

From the deepest part of my heart, thank you

This letter is directed to Emily Hoe and those like her who lost loved ones to war.

I hurt when I read the news today, oh boy. Another good kid lost.

You read about what a lousy war it is; any war is lousy, but Nainoa knew something. He knew that, in Iraq, there are young people there just like him and his wife, exceptional people, people who can give this world what it needs, people who care about others. Gentle people, giving people. What he knew is that these people are in the majority there.

There are idiots there, to be sure. If we don't help the innocents, who will? That's all I'm saying.

Thank you, Emily; thank you, Nainoa; thank you, Allen; thank you, Adele. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And it still is not enough thanks.

From the deepest part of my heart, thank you.

Thomas Jelf Jr.
Pahoa, Hawai'i

Putting a human face on tough news

Your news article Friday, "Remembering the fallen," listing and honoring Kane'ohe Marines killed in Iraq, represents the best in news journalism.

My wife and I were very moved by the story. We hope that you can continue to bring a human face to the tough news from Iraq.

Tom Jacobs

'Staying the course' isn't worth the effort

The Iraq war is already ahead of Vietnam in deaths per month based on number of years of involvement. Are we going to wait another four years "staying the course" when the death rate reaches 2,500 per month, as it did in 1968?

I pray not!

Richard Braley
Marine combat artillery officer, Vietnam, 1968

Country lost sight of the real terrorist

Like many, I am at a loss for all the lives lost in Iraq. What bothers me is the number of lives lost from Hawai'i. Considering the size of our state, I am sure the percentage is extremely high for such a small state.

I am for getting out of Iraq. We should not have been there in the first place. The nation lost sight of the real 9/11 terrorist — Osama bin Laden.

Joan Loo

All who have died deserve to be honored

Gov. Lingle's decision to fly the Hawaiian flag at half-staff in remembrance of the 27 Hawai'i-based Marines killed in Iraq was honorable and thoughtful. The people of Hawai'i mourn the loss of those brave men.

Just recently, Nainoa Hoe, a Native Hawaiian, was also killed in Iraq. Shouldn't he be included in this remembrance and show of gratitude?

I realize that the large number of soldiers killed simultaneously evokes public sympathy and outrage, and rightly so. However, we should also remember and honor Hawai'i's own brave soldier who gave his life in the name of freedom. All of those who sacrificed their lives deserve to be honored.

Marsha Gibson

Nainoa Hoe gave so much in so short a life

I was heartsick to read of the tragic death of 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe. It is not just the natural grief one feels for his wife and family; it is the personification of a loss when it happens to someone you've met, even briefly.

Nainoa's dad, Allen, is a distinguished lawyer and himself a veteran of Vietnam. I recall being in Washington, D.C., with my sons at the same time Allen was there with Nainoa. After running into each other, we decided to take the boys out to Mt. Vernon for an afternoon. The boys learned about history, and Allen and I enjoyed the experience through the eyes of our sons. The boys seemed so young and full of promise.

Nainoa gave so much back in his short life, fulfilling the promise of the young boy. Our prayers go to the Hoe family and to all those with sons and daughters overseas.

Bill McCorriston
Attorney, Honolulu

Their cause was just, their commitment touched us

Thomas Paine once wrote these words: "These are the times that try men's souls." They were written during the Revolutionary War when people began to doubt whether the cost and suffering of the war was worth the reward.

Today, we recognize that although freedom is fragile, it is precious and worth every drop of sweat and blood we shed to obtain it. The recent helicopter crash that took the lives of 31 more of our beloved brothers serves as a stark reminder that even today, freedom isn't free.

Although we grieve over the loss of our brothers, we can take solace in knowing that their cause was just, and because of this, they have found peace with their maker.

These 31 brave men have left behind parents, wives, siblings and in some cases newborn children they have never held. But they have also instilled in us a sense of pride and admiration for what they have done and what they have worked to accomplish.

Their commitment to humanity has touched us deeply. For one man to lay down his life so that others might experience the same freedoms we enjoy is the ultimate sacrifice and act of love.

We pray for the families and friends of those who have lost their loved ones in this accident and harden our resolve to follow their brave example and valiant attempt to preserve freedom in our homeland and share it with others throughout the world.

May God bless them and bless our great nation.

Col. Jeffrey Patterson
Commander, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Corps Base Hawai'i