By A.J. Llewellyn
I did a couple of author chats this week and as is the custom with these things, after it was my turn to talk and answer questions, the chat moderator ran a small contest in which the participants would answer a question. The first one to get it right would win a free copy of one of my published books.
It disturbed me that two nights in a row, very few of those present could answer the question: What is the capital city of the island of Oahu?
Since 99% per cent of my books are set in Hawaii and the book I was promoting is my upcoming June 15 release, Pelo's Heart, I was sad to know how few Americans know their own country's geography - not to mention history!
I mentioned that Pelo's Heart takes place today, June 11, which is a big day in Hawaii.
Today is King Kamehameha Day.
I am Hawaiian by heart and I wish I was there today to help celebrate. I was last year, which prompted my story of an innocent man released from prison on the mainland, who goes home to Hawaii in search of the past, to heal his truth.
What is significant about this day to me is the preservation of culture.
This morning, as I went through the final galley edits on my book, I listened to the radio and I was horrified and stunned to learn that 86% of children in public schools now qualify for free hot breakfasts and lunches. As schools struggle to come up with their share of the bucks to pay for these meals, the cafeterias themselves are reporting that many children showing up for their free hot breakfast, haven't had a meal since their free hot lunches from the day before.
It is devastating.
Our children are our future.
Our children, our vital legacy are in distress. I personally do not understand any parent not feeding their child. I have, in bad times, in fact all too recently, not been able to afford to eat, but I sure made certain my pets got to eat.
One of the things that always appealed to me about Hawaiian culture and King Kamehameha is the love of children.
I think today is an important day, not just in Hawaii but every place.
Today is a reminder to cherish our children, to cherish those who need us.
Happy King Kamehameha Day to you.