Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Tim Bryan
Nine years ago, Hawaii recoiled in horror as the images of New York’s Twin Towers tumbling down were broadcast around the world. The day would eventually be known as simply as “9/11”.
The consequences of that infamous day – half a world away yet close to home – are still being felt today. Now, opposing interpretations of what has become “Patriot Day” have even ignited passions on the Big Island.
Both extremes were on display in Hilo on Saturday.
Hawaii’s Tea Party organization – known for their demonstrative stance against government spending – lined Kamehameha Avenue in the afternoon to wave American flags and show their patriotism.
The Tea Party in Hawaii has been making it a point to support the military and remember 9/11 since the movement began a few years ago.
On the other side of town at the Hilo Lanes parking, a swap meet of conspiracy theorists cast a skeptical eye on the events of September 11th during the “Aloha Uprising” event.
Although far from a mainstream theory, the so called “9/11 Inside Job” has gathered a following in the years after the apparent terrorist attacks. In 2006, a Scripps-Howard poll of a little over a thousand adults found that 36% of Americans consider it “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that government officials either allowed the World Trade Center attacks to occur, or carried out the attacks themselves.
The event also provided a stage for Non-Partisan candidates running for public office, Hawaiian Sovereignty activists, and cannabis freedom supporters.
However, there may have been no better example of the true spirit of Patriot Day than at Waikoloa School.
On Friday, Firefighters from the Waikoloa Fire Station were invited to lunch with the kids. Students also gave them hand drawn thank-you cards and hung posters around the cafeteria.
Patriot Day honors the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States. 343 firefighters were killed in the disaster.