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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

CELEBRATION OF LIFE

People die, and for the past week I've speculated on what happens to them.  Today, I have an uber-long posting, mostly through photos, in tribute to those who fought to preserve our freedom and the closest thing I've had to Pearl's funeral, for there was no ceremony as such when she passed away.  While the end of our stay here on Planet Earth is almost a sure thing, what subsequently occurs is pure conjecture.  My current belief is that this is my one and only life, so while being productive would be nice, enjoying my remaining days is a high priority.  So to provide some balance to this sometimes bleak subject matter, I've reveled in a series of heavenly cuisine.

Our freedom and liberty did not come easily.  Our American wars have resulted in 651,008 battle deaths, double that number from the after effects:
RankWarYearsDeaths
1World War II1941–45291,557
2American Civil War1861–65212,938
3World War I1917–1853,402
4Vietnam War1955–7547,424
5Korean War1950–5333,746
6American Revolutionary War1775–838,000
7Iraq War/Afghanistan Wars2001–20145,650 [91]
8War of 18121812–152,260
9Mexican–American War1846–481,733
10Second Seminole War1835–18421,500+
About 42 million million people have served in the military during wartime, and 2% have thus paid the ultimate sacrifice.

As I was completing my blog yesterday, four jets flew over the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Punchbowl Crater.  Here, they performed the missing man formation just outside my window:


You can only barely see the fourth plane at 11 o'clock high.

I caught The Bus and transferred at Punchbowl Street.  Maybe because I was infused with patriotism, but for the first time I notice this:


A dedication of Hawaii battle victims of, think, World War I.  I then dropped off at Ala Moana Beach Park to sign up for a lantern:


I could have attached Pearl's photo, and I wished I had a capsule of her ashes, but perhaps next year I'll return and honor both my wife, who passed away almost nine years ago, and our dog Pepper, and use this photo:


The morning paper indicated that individuals also memorialized their pets.  Here is what the scene looked like:


At the end of this posting I'll show a few photos of what happened at the Lantern Festival later in the day.

It was lunchtime, and I had a choice of LL BBQ, the concession at the beach, or the next closest restaurant, Vintage Cave Cafe, which was just across the street from the tent.


Last week I went to the parent restaurant, Vintage Cave, which was French-Japanese.  The Cafe is Italian and maybe even larger.  You will notice, though, that at 12:30 customers were few (total of four, including myself during my lunch):


They shave on real black truffles.  What a meal, and "only" $60 with tax and tip.  I learned that the $5000 membership credit can be used here also.  If Sekiguchi-san opens restaurants in Dubai, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, London and Frankfurt, as he plans to, maybe I'll join and also go around the world one more time.

On my walk to The Bus #17, I was entertained:


The driver, Ken, might have saved my life.  He indicated that, rather than walk uphill more than mile from Roosevelt School, I should transfer to #15, for this bus takes you to the entrance.  So here is Ken:


Just the stroll from the entrance, into the cemetery, must have been a quarter mile, and all uphill:


The two red-crested cardinals that always join me for golf at the Ala Wai, welcomed me here.



You rarely see these dark red plumerias.  There were various arrangements of red, white and blue:



That green building is 15 Craigside.  Two more.


Finally, back to the Lantern Festival:


Lily, Debbie (Pearl's niece) and Dean personally participated (I don't think Molly went--she is their dog) in the lantern ceremony, and they sent me the following:

Memories are the legacy of love.
Thank you for a lifetime of happy memories….
You are forever in our thoughts and are truly missed.

Love you always, Aunt Pearl.  

Dean, Debbie, Lily & Molly

What a day.

-

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