2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 31 Jan 2005 23:56:38 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Hawai'i and the U.S. military
Shared Grief Can't Mask Lingering Pain

Locals mourn the 27 troops based in Hawaii who died in a helicopter
crash in Iraq. But the longtime unease with the military persists

By Tomas Alex Tizon
Los Angeles Times 
January 31, 2005

KANEOHE, Hawaii - The deaths of 27 Hawaii-based troops last week in a
helicopter crash in Iraq united many Hawaiians in grief. Almost in
unison, U.S. flags throughout the islands were lowered to half-staff,
churches held memorial services, politicians and pundits spoke of the
state as a grieving family.

But for William Aila, a native Hawaiian, and untold others here, the
tragedy evoked more complicated emotions.


Aila belongs to such a group. He is 46, a harbormaster for the state,
and a descendant of native Hawaiians who were forcibly evicted from the
Makua Valley, in western Oahu, during World War II. About 20 farming
families were affected. The military took the valley to use as a
training ground and promised to return it six months after the war ended.

"Here we are, 60 years later, and we're still waiting," Aila said.

The military eventually bought out most of the landowners, but some
resisted. The descendants of some of the holdouts belong to a group
called Hui Malama O Makua, or the Group for the Protection of Makua. The
group continues the fight to reclaim the valley, but meanwhile has
protested the military's use of the land as a training ground, where
troops fire ammunition and detonate explosives.

The military stopped its live-fire training for three years beginning in
1998 because of a lawsuit, but renewed the training after the Sept. 11
terrorism attacks.


For the entire article, see
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Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918
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