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Monday, May 30, 2016


The United States has eight Federal Public Holidays.  Two honor those who served in our military:  

  • Veterans Day always occurs on November 11--because the Armistice with Germany began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918--and recognizes all who served in our armed services.  The name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954.
  • Memorial Day remembers those who died while serving in our armed forces.  Originally called Decoration Day after the Civil War in 1868, this holiday is now always on the final Monday in May, and marks the start of summer vacation, like Labor Day marks the end.
I served, but managed to avoid being sent to Vietnam by pure luck, which is a story for another day.  While I have become a peace advocate (five years ago my HuffPo provided a 10% Simple Solution for Peace), I certainly can appreciate the worthiness of holidays dedicated to the end of war and for those who sacrificed themselves for freedom at the peak of their lives. It is a shame that we are not doing everything we can for wounded veterans. 

War is, indeed, hell.  Just during World War II 300,000 Americans and 15 million soldiers died on the battlefield.  However, another 58 million were killed, including civilians.  It was worse for the country in our own Civil War, as the death total was at least 600,000, and probably 750,000.  In all American wars, 1.2 million died and 42 million served.  However, during this period, 82 million were killed, mostly civilians.  According to Wikipedia, in all our wars from 1775, U. S. deaths totaled 1,354,554+, wounded 1,498,237" and missing 40,917+.  Roughly, 2% who ever served died during active duty.

You can go to all my previous postings and learn a few things more about Memorial Day.  As somber as this day might be, PBS, for the 27th year, carried a wet Memorial Day Concert from the National Mall in tribute to our military last night.  Co-hosted by Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, the show featured  the Beach Boys, Renee Fleming, current American Idol winner Trent Harmon, and a long list of entertainers and dignitaries.  You want to feel patriotic?  Watch the re-run, although you can also CLICK on this site to watch the whole program on your computer.  Apparently, though, you will need to fast forward just about 20 minutes.

I thought I'd have my usual bento lunch at Magic Island.  Then, it occurred to me that parking might be a problem,  as the Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony was scheduled for tonight, so I instead went to 53 By the Sea.  Last year a 15 Craigside lunch outing was to this restaurant.

What was startling was the view of Diamond Head, left eye (top) versus right eye (bottom, after cataract surgery three days ago):

My right eye is now dominating, so my left eye feels ignored.  My regular photochromic/progressive glasses now do not work too well, so I bought a pair of dark glasses for driving.  Hopefully, in a couple of weeks the left will gain equality.  I should comment that those lanterns will be floated from a point just left of those coconut trees in the background.  But I'm here for lunch:

Escargot, Cajun-style, more reminiscent of Louisiana cuisine, rather than Reunion in the Indian Ocean, where the Cajun food was almost abominable.  The vegetable tempura was a nice balance.  The wine was Santa Margherita rose.  I ended with a cappuccino.

The view 30 degrees to the left is of Kakaako:

I grew up right in the middle of all those high rises.  Needless to say, 60 years ago, the tallest building near my home had two floors.

Here are some photos from Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony 2016:

The ceremony concluded with a group singing of Hawaii Aloha.


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