While 3000 people marched down Beach Road protesting what they feel are unjust labor laws, a much smaller, silent protest was going on just a few hundred yards away.
Every Friday Bryan Jones has stood silently in front of the American Memorial Park Court of Honor for 25 minutes. He has done this for over six months. Usually there are about six people with him, sometimes more, sometimes less.
I was surprised when Greg and Jean Cruz of Taotao Tano joined one of the silent protests (see Youtube video). I had no idea that there were locals who would be willing to publicly denounce the war.
Now I know that there are...and knowing is half the battle.
Tom Delay was right when he called this place "a petri dish of Capitalism," he just didn't know what he was talking about. I don't think he understood it at the time, but we are truly a microcosm for the rest of the United States.
Our retirement fund disaster is akin to many retirement disasters at the state level and maybe even Social Security on the Federal level. We are also having issues dealing with immigration and integrating new ideas, languages, and people into our existing culture, just like everybody else.
Our community is especially representative of a community affected by the war in Iraq. It has probably hit our community harder than anywhere else in the continental United States.
I'm sure this statistic has changed a bit, but a New York Times article in 2005 stated that we had 245 soldiers serving in Iraq. That is about one person in Iraq for every 250 people on this island.
That's not one soldier serving in the military for every 250 people, that is one soldier serving in a war zone for every 250 people. We also have soldiers serving on bases all over the world. Taking into account the size of the families here, where people routinely have 8-10 kids, it is probably a safe bet to say that every single person on this island has a first cousin serving or who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Is there anywhere in the Mainland United States that has that type of per capita statistic?
Of course not.