Letters for June 14, 2016

• Important to treat flag with respect • Appreciate helicopter rescue team

Important to treat flag with respect

The American flag, emblem of our great country, is a precious symbol of our ideals of justice, freedom and democracy. When we honor the flag, we honor the freedom to worship as we please, to speak as we please and to vote as we please.

We also honor the men and women and their families who made sacrifices to make this the greatest country in the world. We pledge our allegiance to demonstrate our respect and devotion in schools and at public events. We celebrate Flag Day on June 14 of each year.

When faded, worn, tattered and torn, our flags must be retired from further service with respect and dignity during a solemn ceremony during which these worn out flags are honorably cremated in accordance with federal law.

The proper retirement of such flags is one of the missions of the American Legion, a volunteer civilian organization of veterans who have served our country in all branches of our military.

Mahalo to all the folks who have deposited their unserviceable flags during this past year in our flag depository container fronting the Kauai Veterans Center.

Mahalo to the boy scouts and their leaders who participated in our annual flag retirement ceremony on June 10 at the Kauai Veterans Center.

Mahalo to the American Legion members who organized and participated in this year’s ceremony.

Jim Jung , Chaplin, American Legion, Post 54, Kapaa

Appreciate helicopter rescue team

On April 23, 2016, I fell and broke my ankle near the end of the Alakai Swamp Trail, Kokee, at the Kilohana Overlook. I was rescued via helicopter and am still recovering at home.

I wish to thank the fire rescue personnel who helped me that day: Imai, Charlie, and Roy, as well as the rescue helicopter pilot (I don’t know his name) for their empathy, gentleness, professionalism, and effectiveness in a safe and timely rescue. Since I fell after noon, I was happy to be rescued in the daylight hours, arriving at KVMH by 4 p.m.

When the county purchased the rescue helicopter years ago, I was against it. I didn’t want my tax monies funding something that would be used to rescue those “crazy people” who hurt themselves on the trail. Now I’m one of them and am so glad that the helicopter service is there!

My father was a commercial helicopter pilot for years on Kauai and I flew with him multiple times, so I understand the hazards and courage it takes to fly anywhere on Kauai, especially over the Waimea Canyon and on top of Mt. Waialeale. There was rain and low clouds and I was impressed by the fact that they were able to land the helicopter on the swamp, close to where I fell.

Mahalo nui loa to my heroes and for all you do for the people of Kauai.

Jan Pascua, Kalaheo

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