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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy King Kamehameha Day

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.
Aloha oe,



Jambrea said...

It really is sad AJ. Our children are our future and I would do anything for my son. The US school system needs to be reevaluated. I know that I don't want my son in public school. Not the way it is now. I got lucky. I was able to get him into a charter school that focuses on the child. A charter school is like a private school with out all the cost.

There is too much focus on teaching toward those standardized test. Kids aren’t learning what they need to. I know that I’m scared all the time with my son’s education.

As for the lunches, it is sad that our children are going with out. I’m lucky that my son has what he needs. You know how they say it takes a tribe to raise a child? I firmly believe in this. With out my parents and in laws surrounding us, I don’t know what I would do. As our children grow, their teachers become a part of our ‘tribe’ and I don’t think a lot of parents realize that. Teachers need to be treasured as they help our children grow into the people they are meant to be.

Happy King Kamehameha Day to you as well my friend.

Lynn Crain said...

I agree, AJ, it is a sad state of affairs when our children are not adequately provided for whatsoever. Kids are our future but in todays world people are just struggling to provide shelter and have a job. Which leaves little in the way for nutrious meals.

While there are people who are trying to make this all better, it's my fear it will too little too late for many little ones.

Happy King Kamehameha Day!


Rhonda said...

I agree, it is sad. I know my son comes first. Kids are our future, we are nothing without them.

Happy King Kamehameha Day!

Kissa Starling said...

This is so true. Local schools in our neighborhood send home backpacks full of snacks on Friday for the children to eat over the weekend.

With all of the available resources in the United States there is no reason to be totally without food. There are food banks, churches, and other community organizations who help with one phone call.


Stephani Hecht said...

Children are our most precious assets and we as a country need to do a whole lot more to protect them. Now I happen to love my local public school, though. My daughter has learning disabilities and they have done wonders with her.

Cinderella said...

This is nothing new. I was borned in the late 60's and in the hills of West Virginia/Kentucky I was from a poor family. We hunted our food most of the time. When Mom became depended on drugs I raided dumpsters for food (KY fried chicken) mostly in the summer. I hated it when school was out. My kids have never felt hunger before and I know I am lucky to have clawed my way up.

Anonymous said...

I agree AJ. I have gone hungry several time when money was tight so my kids would have something to eat for dinner/supper. My kids all three of them have been on the free breakfast and lunch program here in Oregon.

Do I like that they are in the program? No. Can I afford not to have them on it? No.

And now I have my two oldest going away to College this August, and my youngest will be in 1st grade. Thanks to scholarships, grants and loans both will be able to go to their schools for the whole year. It's damn scary when you realize just how much school cost now I wonder if either of my older two will be able to continue after this coming year.

But yeah I will starve myself before I let any of my kids go hungry.

Hugs Nita

Anonymous said...


It is sad that so many kids have to deal with that kind of a problem. My kids always had something to eat. I made sure of that. I hope that parents realise that the children are our future!


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