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With our faults and failures, redeeming hope perseveres

Growing up, the red, white and blue “Stars and Stripes” were adorned with patriotic well-being. Causing conflicting emotions today, the beloved American flag can be a painful reminder of Hawaii’s illegal overthrow.

One day, justice will be done. Until then, Queen Liliuokalani’s desire of forgiveness and love continues in the Aloha Spirit.

A tour through Glacier Park with a Native American guide included driving past a vast development of veteran housing. Inquiring about the high percentage of vets, the man with pride explained how the Blackfeet perpetuate their warring cultural heritage by serving in the U.S. military.

Meeting two fun-loving young women on a Maui flight, our friendship began. Originally from East Turkistan, a country illegally annexed by China, they are Muslem Uyghur refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

Months later, on a visit to Washington D.C., we reunited. Meeting one of them at the Arlington Cemetery, she wore a red shirt with an American flag on it. “To honor the veterans,” she said.

Hours later in the August heat, surrounded by acres of grave markers, I bemoaned the lack of water to drink. Immediately, my young Uyghur companion responded with an incredible insight. She suggested it was good we were suffering. The deprivation and discomfort would make us more appreciative of the sacrifices made for our country’s freedom.

Just like every one of us, the United States has its faults and failures. Yet, as demonstrated by these oppressed and persecuted individuals, there is redeeming hope.

Michele Lincoln

Lahaina

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