BW and I just returned from Hawaii about a month ago. It was our second trip there and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I paid the last credit card bill yesterday. So today I want to make some random observations about the state of Hawaii.
The USA gained control of Hawaii as a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Over time economic issues caused American interests to successfully push out the old King and Queen Monarchy rule to begin making money: Dole Pineapple, sugar interests, tourism and the need for a mid-Pacific refueling station and naval base created the environment for annexation by USA. Hawaii became a state in 1959 over the strong objections of many inhabitants. Many native Hawaiians are still bitter about this although statehood has been great for them.
I find it interesting that there are Interstate highways on the islands. What? I drove all over Oahu and did not find the off ramp to California or Oregon. There was IH1, IH2 and IH3 all on Oahu home of Dole Pineapple and Honolulu.
The island is approximately 40 miles long and about 25 miles wide at their extreme about the size of Greene County and Monroe County combined.
It is about 40 miles long and nearly 25 miles wide at the extremes yet the population is over a million plus the thousands of visitors each day.
A man stood outside our hotel each evening with a cardboard sign that said, "Hungry. Please help." I almost said to him, why don't you quit smoking cigarettes and buy food with the $20 -- 35 you spend on tobacco each day. I didn't.
Hawaii is the most isolated place on this planet. It is surrounded by thousands upon thousands of miles of ocean making it more isolated than Calvertville, Indiana, Nepal and Siberia. By the way, there were constant power struggles and wars there long before America intervened.
Pearly Harbor is a must see. I struggle with my emotions there. A survivor of the Battleship Arizona was there with us. As I thanked him for his service my voice quit me and tears came to my eyes. Where would I be today if it were not for men and women like him? One of my very distant relatives died on the Battleship Arizona, December 7, 1941. His body was found floating in the harbor after the attack and he could not be identified. Only in recent years forensic evidence was used to identify 23-year old Alfred Livingston. His remains were brought back and buried in the Worthington Cemetery where many of his ancestors lie.
A total of 52 submarines and crews were lost during the war. Untold hundreds of aircraft and ships were lost with their crews as well. It is numbing to realize that millions of men and women served during the war and over 70,000 men went to serve their country and never returned nor were their bodies ever found. Thousands of parents, siblings and friends went to sleep each night and ultimately to their graves not knowing where their loved one's life ended. That was heart-breaking. Their only solace was that their loved one helped preserve the American way of life. And I say thank you to them. Sleep on in your eternal rest.
Larry grew up North of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State U. -- four times. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.