Letters for Saturday, September 10, 2011

• Healing is forbidden • Disaster


Healing is forbidden

The preparations to celebrate Sept. 11 all over the United States began almost a month ago.

Yes, I am using the word celebrate instead of commemorating, because the federal, state and local governments already have put in more efforts into “reviving” this tragedy than maybe any of the public holidays in the U.S.

Even allies like Australia and the U.K. announced their plans to commemorate.

The news channels are ready with their carefully designed specials to revive the disaster and keep the fear alive in the mind of the Americans. This much ado earns the term “celebration”. Everything is ready for the big splash.

There were times in the American history when the country’s leaders held earth-moving speeches stressing the importance of building the nation’s future. They moved masses with their speeches and their vision inspired people to aim for a better future. The most important point of those speeches was: Put closure on the losses and hurts, and go forward. This is in line with the teachings of world famous psychologists and psychiatrists — start healing the trauma with a closure.

Why is it then that the U.S. government is doing just the opposite? If the Sept. 11 tragedy was a trauma for the nation, whether we accept the official explanation or not, why don’t the nation’s leaders speed up the healing process?

Today’s efforts to revive the tragedy are the same as ripping off the hardening scar from the wounds and preventing the healing. It is absolutely crazy. And it is not just the Sept. 11, because the U.S. government is exercising the same masochism at the anniversary of the Katrina disaster and of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Pearl Harbor, Katrina and Sept. 11 were all failures. They were failures of American intelligence and preparedness. And now we are being indoctrinated to celebrate, or with politically correct term and with ever increasing budget, to commemorate these failures. Would protests be more appropriate? Maybe. But protest whom? Those who made the mistake? It is exactly the group that is most actively involved in organizing these commemorations!

Even in business it is highly counterproductive to constantly lament about events associated with failures, contributable either to an imaginary or real enemy or the competition.

When the peace Nobel Prize winner president talks about wars and never about peace, without the slightest hint about his vision for the future of the country, the stagnation continues.

Did the U.S. run out of successes to celebrate? No, not at all, because there are great achievements in the field of medicine, space technology, communication etc. that would be more appropriate to celebrate, but these are suppressed by the government in favor of tragedies. And this sends a message to the young generation. The message is “we were hurt, and be prepared to be hurt again” instead of “Get over it and don’t reward the perpetrators with your tears and mourning.” Is it hard to say “Start building a better future for the nation without fear”? This would stress our strength and earn the admiration of other nations.

The tragedies are part of our history, and nobody can or wants to deny them, but why build the entire history around them? Can we do better? Yes, we can.

Just look at my Hawaiian brothers and sisters. They were hurt too; their country has been stolen, but they still have a vision, where independence, education, and fair government are the dominant parts. And when they speak, their young are listening and get the inspiration.

They want something better, and they understand that they have to do something for it. Watch out for the Hawaiian elections in November 2011. Their road sign says “I mua” meaning “forward”.

OK, Americans, the choice is yours: Enjoy the suffering or say “enough, let’s build that future”. If your president does not have the courage to say it, you should, because your voice can reach further than his.

János Samu, Kalaheo

Disaster preparedness

September is not only National Preparedness Month, but it is also one of the most active periods for tropical cyclones in the Central Pacific.

We are in the midst of hurricane season. The recent devastation of the East Coast by Hurricane Irene, followed by the torrential rains of Typhoon Talas across southern Japan, should remind us of the need to be prepared here at home: Make a plan. Get a kit. Be informed.

Here are some additional tips to help you and your family to be prepared for any disasters we may face in the future:

1. Make it a habit to fill up your vehicles and gas tanks on the same day of the week, to help keep the fuel level above half-filled.

2. Don’t forget to prepare an emergency kit for your pets. This should include a crate or kennel.

3. Have your kids or friends teach you how to send and receive text messages on your cell phone so that you are ready to use text messaging during an emergency.

4. Pack extra plastic trash bags in your emergency kits. These may become your portable toilets, and they don’t take up much space.

5. Get trained in First Aid and CPR.

Lastly, and most importantly, take care of yourself by living a healthy lifestyle, so that you are better able to take care of others who may need assistance following a disaster.

Stay prepared and safe.

Join the Kaua‘i Medical Reserve Corps in celebrating National Preparedness month at Kukui Grove on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Michael Robless, Lihu‘e


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