A Maui veterans parade planned for Nov. 10 has been rescheduled for next year, according to Paul Laub, president of the Maui County Veterans Council. The decision to hold the parade next year came as a recommendation from the "Celebrate Veterans" parade committee, he said.
"Recognizing numerous challenges that could not be addressed in the time remaining, a decision was made . . . to support existing veterans activities traditionally associated with Veterans Day and to hold the parade on a date that would allow for increased planning, fundraising and participation by veterans organizations, their families and supporters," an announcement said.
"We are grateful to the men and women who have stepped up to make the 'Celebrate Veterans' parade a success and have taken time from their busy lives to help plan an event that will demonstrate our respect and appreciation for those who have served us in the cause of freedom," Laub said.
People are encouraged to attend the following activities, all on the Nov. 11 Veterans Day holiday:
* Korean War Veterans services, 9 a.m. at the Makawao Veterans Cemetery.
* A Veterans and Supporters picnic, 10:30 a.m. at Kalama Park in Kihei.
* Kihei Veterans of Foreign Wars Luau, 5 p.m. at the VFW Hall on Uluniu Road.
Laub said that anyone who has donated money to make the parade possible may request to have their donations returned, or they may leave the donation with the council for next year's parade.
In a yet-to-be-published letter to The Maui News, Kihei resident John Fairbank expressed disappointment with the parade being canceled this year.
Fairbank said the idea of holding a parade was backed by "an enthusiastic group of veterans and other interested folks on Maui with a 'can-do' attitude."
He said the group put in "a lot of time and effort" to line up parade participants, plan a parade route, raise funds and do other work, but "it seems there were foot draggers and naysayers, individuals and groups who decided not to participate and oppose the efforts."
Fairbank noted that Maui has been able to stage other parades, such as the annual Maui Fair Parade, Makawao Paniolo Parade and others, "but small town Maui County is just unable to pull together and have a parade to honor its veterans . . . Shame!"
Ed Gazmen, who had publicly announced the parade plans in September, could not be reached for comment Saturday afternoon.