The city and state announcement last week that they want to raze the Natatorium was a kick in the gut to supporters of the War Memorial.
One of them is Mo Radke, 30-year Navy veteran, former command master chief of the Pacific Fleet and now a board member of Friends of the Natatorium. The roots of Mo’s disappointment are in his deep respect for those who preceded him in our nation’s service. He has now written about that respect, and that disappointment, in “Honor, Courage and Commitment,” an opinion piece for Honolulu Civil Beat.
“I have a granddaughter who is 1 month old,” Mo wrote. “When she grows up and learns her history, what is she going of think of me and my generation, people who can so offhandedly dismiss the heroism and service of men and women who died to protect the islands we live on?”
Read and Comment
Read Mo’s piece, and feel free to comment here on this page, or on Civil Beat, telling us how you feel.
Or you can tell Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Gov. Neil Abercrombie directly.
This makes me so sad. The first time we was able to visit Hawaii, in 1978, we walked from our hotel along the beach as far as we could walk. We came across the Natatorium. We were so instantly in love with it. I felt a deep pride inside me that there was such a monument and memorial to our service people, many of who died to give us our freedom. It was not in such a sad state back then and could have been fixed with not so much cost. We were able to go inside and actually sit on a bleacher and picture the swimmers there. Five years later, it was fenced closed. I have always told people how proud the people in Hawaii are , of their beautiful buildings and monuments. We loved all of the old building that had been restored, the open air post office in an old building. Never did I dream that the “Nat” would be razed and this total lack of respect for the sacrifices of so many. What happened to that pride and caring? Are the wrong people in power now? Is the almighty dollar more important than those who gave all? This makes me so very sad.
I have to add, just imagine the Nat restored, swimming competitions, families enjoying the beautiful salt water pool. Is there a more beautiful setting in the world for something like this? I don’t think so.