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Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The end of the First World War was signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. Woodrow Wilson on November 11, 1919, proclaimed Armistice Day to honor the fallen heroes of that war. In 1954 the name was changed to Veterans (yes, the official version is no apostrophe) Day to honor military veterans of all wars. There is thus this subtle change from remembering those killed (which is Memorial Day) to, now, those who fought for freedom. For the record, while I served in the Army Reserves, by definition, even though I did not have any combat duty, and only was active for six months, I’m a veteran.

Hawaii, in particular, has the five top citizens associated with this day. Unlike, me, President Barack Obama, never having served, is Commander in Chief, who you saw on television pay tribute at Arlington National Cemetery, from

U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye lost an arm in World War II, and as a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, represents the ultimate in a veteran. He is also chairman of the Defense Appropriations Committee and, also too,

full committee.

U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka is chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. Yes, he is that distinguished gentleman on the left.

Retired General Eric Shinseki is Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. He too, was severely injured, losing part of his right foot.

L. Tammy Duckworth is Assistant Secretary. She went to my high school (McKinley) and lost both legs and damaged an arm in the Iraq War. One picture can make the whole story.

We sometimes don't appreciate the price of freedom. Hawaii has certainly contributed.

While Christmas and Thanksgiving are festive, Veterans Day, where there is also thankfulness and remembrance, is somber and reflective. There might be a parade, but ceremonies are respectful. Four jets just flew over me (the missing man formation) from Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery, with one veering off. There is no cheering and alcoholic beverages are not prominent. Businesses stay open, but most schools and banks are closed. Click on President Obama’s speech today. (Incidentally, the Huffington Post had an article yesterday indicating that Obama will go to Copenhagen for that global warming summit, but only IF....which, of course, means he won't go).


The Dow Jones Industrials experienced its sixth straight day of increase, and ended plus 44 at 10,291. World markets were all up, except for Sweden. Gold continues to set highest ever records, and went up $10/toz to $1117, touching $1200 today. Crude oil seems stabilized at $79/barrel.


Ida is providing some needed rainfall up the Atlantic Seaboard, but the oceans are relatively quiet today.


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