Town Turns Out to Honor Hawaii’s Fallen Soldier
On Thursday, thousands of people turned out in the Big Island towns of Waimea and Waikaloa Village.
They were there to pay their respects to the family of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Christopher Camero.
Camero died July 15 in Germany. He had stepped on a homemade bomb in Afghanistan nine days earlier.
Camero was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Twentynine Palms, California.
Many people knew the 2010 graduate of Honoka’a High School.
They stood along the route with their American flags as his family and friends drove to the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery.
Friends of Camero said from the time he was young, he wanted to be a U.S. Marine.
Camero is the first Big Island Marine to be laid to rest in the new cemetery.
Bystanders said “Semper Fi Marine, we will never forget you. Semper Fi.”
The governor ordered state flags flown at half mass yesterday in his honor.
See a full series of photos by Robert Gowan here
Statehood Holiday Passes Without Official Celebration or Acknowledgement
Today is Statehood Day.
Fifty two years ago, on August 21, 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state.
President Dwight Eisenhower signed the proclamation that made statehood official.
At that time, Hawaii’s streets were filled with people celebrating.
They honked their horns and danced around a massive bon fire celebration at night. They fired off cannons at Iolani Palace.
An estimated 94 percent of the public voted for statehood.
While state and county offices are closed, the state is not holding any official celebrations.
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle restored the celebration on Hawaii’s 50th anniversary of statehood.
That was two years ago, but there has been no celebration since.
Hawaii Governors historically send out a message about statehood to the public acknowledging the day.
See the letter from Cayetano to the public in 2002.
So far Gov. Abercrombie, who is in his first year of office, has not released such a message.
Hawaii Taxpayers Have Their Own Debt Ceiling
Hawaii’s taxpayers are paying a whopping $1.6 billion a year for debt service.
That means about one third of Hawaii’s $5.5 billion general fund is spent on principle and interest on bonds.
That is according to Kalbert Young, Hawaii’s Director of the Department of Budget and Finance.
The Institute for Truth in Accounting recently rated a “sinkhole” state by because of its overall financial situation, which includes unfunded liabilities and debt.
The Institute also ranked Hawaii 47th worst for its financial management.