Friday, January 7, 2011

Liberated Hero

Welcome Back To Waikiki

"He that would make his own liberty secure,
 must guard even his enemy. . ."

  Thomas Paine

"There are moments
 when the will of a handful of free men
 breaks through. . . opens up new roads."

  Charles de Gaulle

"My definition of a free society
 is a society where it is safe
 to be unpopular."

  Adlai Stevenson,
 Detroit 1952


We've visited my favorite hangout before:
 Hula's Bar & Lei Stand
 in the boutique Waikiki Grand Hotel
steps from the Honolulu Zoo, the beach,
 and Kapiolani Park.

What a view of Diamond Head!

Today I was passing some pleasant time at the bar
with a few of the other regulars.

As always, there were new faces too;
faces who might hail
 from anywhere in the world;
Waikiki's like that.

One new friend told me that he was happy
to have finally found an apartment.
"Here in the Grand?" I asked.
When he answered affirmatively, I asked him
about his line of work.
"I'm in the Navy."
I thought about that for a minute.

Gay or not,
 this guy feels safe living in a building
that flies the rainbow flag
 from a famous Gay bar
on the second floor.

And he feels safe drinking coffee
in here at 11am on a Friday.

"Isn't it great that you are free to live in this building
now that DADT was repealed?"

Silently he lifted his shirt sleeve
revealing a fresh tattoo,
less than a month old.
It read:

The date of repeal.

 Liberation day for this fellow

(and how many others)

who's chosen to serve his country

as a nuclear engineer, lately assigned

to shore duty at Pearl Harbor.

I feel better that he can now concentrate on his important work
and not on concealment.

Fair is fair,
That's what America is supposed to be about
and what makes me happiest of all.

Challenging times? Yes.
But good things are afoot too.
Dare to celebrate.
And don't give up the struggle
for simple humanity.
A TATTOO! Imagine what it means to him.

           What do YOU think? cloudia