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East Kaua‘i Lions celebrate Fourth with flag-waving amid COVID concerns

LIHU‘E — Dr. David Bennett of Alabama, and the Veterans Affairs clinic, wanted to know where the fireworks were, Monday morning at the Kaua‘i Veterns Center on Veterans Memorial Highway.

“When I was here four years ago, we attended the fireworks show,” Bennett said. “It was very nice.”

Fireworks on Kaua‘i for 2022 were suppressed because of the ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants. The sole pyrotechnic display was hosted by the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Friday night to a highly-restricted audience.

The traditional Kekaha Fourth of July celebration took place, Saturday with no fireworks. Instead, organizers offered the pilot Play Streets program of highly-active interactive outdoor activities for free.

Bennett, still missing the pyrotechnics, instead joined the East Kaua‘i Lions Club that spearheaded a sign-waving campaign outside the Kaua‘i Veterans Center along the Veterans Memorial Highway, Monday morning, ending with a fellowship luncheon at a local restaurant.

“I can take my picture, now,” said Ed Kawamura, himself a Vietnam Veteran, and a member of the Veterans Helping Veterans group. “I just finished putting up the sign, and did you see this special shirt I made for Fourth of July.”

Kawamura was joined by other veterans, including Gen. (ret. USAF) Mary Kay Hertog, commander of the Kaua‘i Veterans Council, and members of the East Kaua‘i Lions who were met with a symphony of supporting car honks from passing motorists, including delivery trucks.

“Fellow, Lions the Fourth of July is upon us,” said Lion Harvey Kinoshita, the club’s past president. “Our Flag Waving is our Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.”

And, because of the pandemic, there was no fireworks, and no food from the veterans. Instead, the Lions and other supporters had to provide their own flags and refreshments, although Hertog said she was going to open the Kaua‘i Veterans Center for those who needed to use the restrooms as well as have cold water.

The Monday EK Lions flag waving celebrated the 246th anniversary of the day when delegates of the 13 colonies officially adpoted the Declaration of Independence and ended British rule.
Source: The Garden Island

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