Governor Ige: ‘We are at a historic crossroad’

Posted on Jan 29, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured
Windward Community College graduates celebrate pre-pandemic.

Windward Community College graduates celebrate pre-pandemic.

Finally, my friends, we are at a historic crossroad because of the pandemic and because of new leadership in Washington D.C. The latter is a source of rising hope and great expectations. Seventy-five years ago, our parents endured a global war that cast one of the darkest shadows over the free world.  Their response was historic.  It became their most enduring legacy to all of us. Today, we have a chance to Pay It Forward. This public health crisis has forced us to look down a different road. But it has not determined where that road will end.  That has always remained in our hands. The pandemic has not forced us to change. That we must do on our own to address the challenges we face.

Masking up and staying a surfboard apart is a good way to show aloha.

Masking up and staying a surfboard apart is a good way to show aloha.

But our strength lies in something deeper than those superficial changes. It lies in who we have always been as a people. Hawaiʻi is all of us poured into this vessel—a pot that doesn’t melt away our differences but highlights them, emphatically and proudly. That is our strength. Hawai‘i is the hundreds of small family businesses that make up the real backbone of our economy. It is Kalākaua Avenue and Kalihi Street on Oʻahu, Front Street and Main Street on Maui, Aliʻi Drive and Kinoʻole Street on Hawaiʻi Island, and Kūhiō Highway that stretches from Kapaʻa to Hāʻena on Kauaʻi. It’s the smell of a thousand lei at graduation and the swell of pride from beaming parents. And it’s quiet moments — when you get to savor life at its fullest — when you think to yourself: This is what it’s all about. This makes it all worthwhile. Because we are Hawai‘i. In these dark times, with the pandemic knocking us back on our heels, it is not enough to occasionally show aloha. We must have aloha for each other—at all times. We all have jobs to do — you, me, everyone in Hawai‘i — to lift ourselves and each other back up into the sunlight. Let’s not waste another moment. Join with me in this challenge. Thank you and aloha.

 

Read more in the February Capitol Connection newsletter.

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