What would Kamehameha do?

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Through military innovation and ruthless conquest, he united these islands under one flag.  He killed more Hawaiians than the haoles ever did, and made no apologies.  I suppose you can judge his actions in different ways, depending on your point of view.  But he was a real leader, no doubt about it.  And in Hawaii, he is revered.

It’s King Kamehameha Day.  The area around the statue in front of Aliiolani Hale does not really look like the montage above, of course.  But conditions in the area sure have deteriorated.  And the sad news today is that the beautiful lei and offerings placed on and around the statue in reverence and celebration of this holiday were desecrated last night.  No word yet on who is responsible.  Are we now past the point of being shocked by this sort of thing?  Do we now expect this type of destructive, anti-social vandalism?  Is anybody really surprised?

The Iolani Palace grounds were filled with well-wishers today, but that’s not always the case.  It wasn’t long ago that the palace itself was desecrated by this young woman, who was later sentenced to one year in prison.  Her intentions were never really explained, but it seemed that she had been influenced by the type of illicit substance use that can often be seen around the palace these days.  And that’s not all.  A TV station recently filmed someone using the great banyan tree as a toilet, in full view of visiting school children.

The last time I visited the palace, I was so shocked that I snapped the pictures below.  It’s like this all the time now, except on Kamehameha Day.  Is this situation reasonable or acceptable?

What would Kamehameha do?  What will it take to unite Oahu and the rest of Hawaii now and find solutions to these chronic problems?

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