Video by David Corrigan, Voice of Tim Bryan
Armed Forces Day was celebrated by the Hilo Airport on Saturday, as thousands came out to mark the 100th anniversary of Powered Flight in Hawaii.
Large crowds gathered around the massive C-17 Globemaster, the KC-135 Stratotanker, and the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, just a few of the flying machines on display outside the Civil Air Patrol building.
Commercial aircraft and classic cars were also set up at the event.
A blood drive was organized by Tripler Army medical Center, and the Waiakea Intermediate Ukulele Band provided the music for the open house.
The event was dedicated to the late Jim Davis, a Hilo airport assistant district superintendent.
According to event information:
On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace seperate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department – the Department of Defense.
President Harry Truman followed up with a proclamation on February 20, 1950, praising the work of military services at home and abroad.
Armed Forces Day showcases the military equioment to the population they are protecting. This day also provides a time in which to honor and acknowledge the people serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.
Meanwhile, a planned peace demonstration outside held outside the event by Jim Albertini’s Malu Aina organization, ran into an initial snag. Albertini says:
“Over a dozen peace activists were threatened with arrest for offering peace leaflets and peacefully sign holding at Armed Forces Day events in Hilo on Saturday, May 15th. The activists held signs reading “Rescue the troops from War”, “Stop the War”, “End U.S. Occupation”, etc. along Hilo’s airport road fronting the Civil Air Patrol Area of Hilo Airport from 10-11:30AM,” said Jim Albertini of Malu ‘Aina.
Albertini said “head of Hilo airport security Steven Satiago called police and wanted the protesters arrested if they did not leave the area where they were holding signs visible to those arriving for the Armed Forces day events and flights in and out of Hilo airport.” According to Albertini, “Santiago, wearing an Army cap, also wanted peace activists arrested for offering peace leaflets to people walking from their parked cars toward the military displays.”
Albertini said “peace activists stood their ground and refused to leave the area to a more remote designated “free speech zone” citing their first amendment free speech rights. Higher ups in both the police department and State transportation were called and eventually the protesters’ rights were recognized.”