Thursday, November 11, 2010

On this Veteran's Day I am reminded of some Maui history that is equally important as fighting a war and should not be forgotten.

The people of Maui that remained at home during WWII were fighting their own battles. With so many military men living on Maui and so many of Maui's people of Japanese descent taken from their homes and shipped of to internment camps, it fell to the rest of the people of Maui that remained to carry the load.

One such load was the feeding of Maui's people and the then thousands of servicemen stationed on Maui, within the State and traveling through Hawaii to other locations around the pacific.

The Aloha and determination of Maui's people reflected what made Maui No Ka Oi.

With so many mouths to feed, the people of Maui became farmers. They learned from each other, were taught by people the Military brought in and before long every yard and spare plot of land was planted and soon began yielding  more than Maui needed. They produced enough food through farming, ranching and dairy farms that they supplied Maui and most of Oahu's need for fresh, locally grown food.

This was done at a time when resources and infrastructure were at a minimum. The work was done mostly through the efforts of hand laboring in the soil, hand watering, and hand harvesting.

Food was prepared in community soup kitchens as neighbors endeavored to feed and support each other. The communities were brought together and developed a one people attitude despite the variety of races and cultural backgrounds. Racism, especially towards people of Asian descent was still present, but somehow mostly over looked as people leaned on, and supported each other.

There may have been many communities that were similar to Maui, but Maui was truly No Ka Oi and still is.

On this day of remembrance for those that fought so hard to give us what we had, it was not just given to them, we owe it to them, ourselves and our future generations, to not let the sense of community, and the lessons of the past go to waste. The ability to remain united in a common goal is our heritage and will be the heritage of those that follow. It's all in our hands.

I hope all are enjoying and giving thanks for what we have on this Veteran's Day of 2011.

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