November 19, 2018, Kailua, HI. On Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2018, Hawaii celebrated the end of World War I with a whole day series of presentations from 6am at the Waikiki Natatorium. It ended at 8:45 pm with a fireworks immediately after a full orchestra played nostalgia-era standards.
Schoen Safotu, Coordinator of the VA Voluntary Services called for volunteers to help at this first ever multi-agency event commemoration of the World War I Centennial. ALSFH President Divina Robillard and Board Secretary Ronaele Whittington signed on to help. Safotu asked that Robillard, originally signed on as a greeter, help as part of the dismantling crew at the end of the day instead.
On 29 August, 2015, Governor Ige directed the formation of The Hawaii World War One Centennial Task Force to plan and lead Hawaii’s Commemoration of the First World War. The Hawaii World War One Centennial Task Force is Hawaii’s answer to the call from the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission for all U.S. States and Territori
The Hawaii World War One Centennial Task Force is composed entirely of volunteers from Hawaii’s Military Veteran, Academic, Professional and Civic organizations. The Hawaii National Guard, Veterans Affairs, and four Veteran organizations are represented in the membership of the Task Force, along with volunteer members from the ranks of academia, industry, and civic organizations. World War I remains America’s forgotten war, even though more Americans gave their lives during that war than during Korea and Vietnam combined. In Hawaii, then a Territory of the United States, over 10,000 men volunteered to serve, and the War touched the lives of nearly all of the citizenry.
While waiting for the day to end, Robillard’s volunteer group participated in the dancing on the platform during a lively chacha played by the orchestra. After the fireworks, the crew dismantled water stations, folded/stored chairs, and carried decorative potted plants from around the perimeter to the safety of the Natatorium.
Military veterans are known to be twice as likely to have ALS than those who have never served. ALSFH founder former Marine Bob Lundy has ALS and so does its fervent and early supporters, Shaun Brewer and George Park, both US Army retired.