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View Full Version : Pics and stuff of Uncle B's visit to the islands after a trip in Asia-Australia...

Oct 24, 2003, 4:00 PM
President Bush made a brief and largely ceremonial stopover on O'ahu yesterday, where he raised money for his 2004 re-election campaign and was greeted warmly with lei, hugs and handshakes on his first presidential trip to the Islands.


Bush and his wife, first lady Laura Bush, dropped anthuriums into the well of the USS Arizona Memorial, thanked veterans from three wars for their sacrifices and encouraged second-graders at Pearl Harbor Elementary School to read more and watch less television. The president also met privately with Pacific island leaders about trade and security issues.


"Fantastic place," Bush replied when asked what he thought of Hawai'i.


Air Force One touched down at Hickam Air Force Base at 8:05 a.m. yesterday and was back in the air 12 hours later en route to Washington, D.C., concluding a busy six-nation trip by the president through Asia and the Pacific.

In between, Bush raised money for Republicans at an exclusive $10,000 per person fund-raiser at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel and spoke to supporters at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. He was also heckled by a boisterous group of protesters whose signs and shouts condemned him for the war in Iraq.

Gov. Linda Lingle attended Bush's events in the morning and the fund-raisers in the afternoon and evening and spoke with the president about a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill that has stalled in the Senate because of Republican opposition. The governor, who also talked with Bush about the issue earlier this year during a trip to Washington, said the legislation was not near the top of his agenda as he wrestled with such issues as Iraq and the economy.


"But I did raise it to him, and now it may become something that he takes a closer look at," Lingle said.

In a 25-minute campaign speech at the Hilton, Bush flashed a shaka sign to the cheering crowd of about 600 who paid at least $1,000 a person to attend.

"After eight days on the road and 18,000 miles in the air, it's great to be back in America," Bush told the gathering.

Bush did not address the Native Hawaiian recognition bill or any specific Hawai'i issues. He said he appreciates "the unique contributions Native Hawaiians have made to this state and to our nation."

"We're blessed by the rich culture of the Native Hawaiian people," the president said.

Bush asked Hawai'i Republicans to urge their friends to get involved with his re-election campaign. "We're laying the foundation for a victory in Hawai'i and a nationwide victory in 2004," Bush said. "... We need more than just financial contributions.''

The Hilton event raised more than $600,000 for the Bush-Cheney re-election effort.

Lingle said she spoke with the president on Native Hawaiian issues and that they interested him and the first lady. She noted that on a previous trip Laura Bush bought a book on Queen Lili'uokalani for her daughters and was aware of the queen's history.

Both the president and the first lady "pledged to learn more about this issue," Lingle said.

She said she accomplished what she wanted, which was to put the issue on the president's radar.

Lingle also said the president and his wife remarked about the "beautiful ethnic makeup" here and that "they leave here with a great impression of Hawai'i."

Bush's quick stop in Hawai'i was also short on leisure, although the president, an avid baseball fan, did get to watch part of Game 5 of the World Series in his hotel. The president had been to Hawai'i once before for a college reunion, Lingle said, but this was his first trip as president.

The visit offered a rare taste of presidential star power for people unaccustomed to rigid security and police-escorted motorcades.

Honolulu Police officers blocked H-1 onramps and overpasses for Bush's drive from Pearl Harbor to the Kahala Mandarin, and then later from Kahala to Waikiki. Drivers got out of their cars and waved at the president's black Cadillac limousine.

The entourage brought traffic to a halt on Wai'alae Avenue through Kahala and hundreds of people lined the sidewalks around Kahala Mall to try to get a look at Bush. Later, the motorcade choked traffic through the streets of Manoa and Waikiki as it moved toward the Hilton.


Everywhere the president and his wife went, people gathered outside security lines to see the first couple and, for some, to try to get their voices heard.

"I don't like that he's negated any sense of international cooperation," said Amelia Borofsky, a student at Argosy University-Honolulu, who was among hundreds of protesters outside the Hilton. "He lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

The day began at Hickam with the Bushes stepping from the doorway of Air Force One and receiving lei from Lingle and Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona. They were also greeted by Hilma Chang, a 79-year-old National Park Service volunteer who was selected by Bush for special recognition. Chang gave the president a large maile-'ilima lei and then gave Laura Bush an 'ilima-pikake lei.

The president then attended ceremonies at the USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri that were particularly symbolic.

The two battleships are seen as the bookends of U.S. involvement in World War II, and Bush has compared the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Bush's father, President George Bush, is honorary chairman of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, but yesterday was the first presidential visit since the historic battleship scene of Japan's surrender in World War II opened in 1999.

On his way to the Arizona Memorial on a Navy yacht, sailors dressed in full whites stood along the railings and saluted as the barge passed Navy ships and submarines, including USS Lake Erie, USS Cheyenne, USS La Jolla, USS Los Angeles, USS Charlotte, USS Chicago, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Reuben James and USS Russell.

At the memorial, Bush met with eight survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and greeted each one by his first name. He posed for pictures, shook their hands and heard their stories.

"I'm not going to wash my hands for two weeks," survivor Herb Weatherwax said.

White House photographers snapped photos of survivor Joseph Arruda posing with the president, and Arruda wanted to make sure he gets a copy.

"Do you want my address?" Arruda asked the president.

"You probably think you'll never see the picture again," Bush said, "but you will."

Arruda said later that the president had made him a promise and he was certain he would get a photo.

On board the Missouri, the Bushes were greeted by 50 veterans and former Missouri crew members, including World War II Medal of Honor recipient Barney Hajiro of Waipahu, a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Before meeting the veterans, Bush and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice received a briefing from Adm. Thomas Fargo, head of Pacific Command. Laura Bush also visited the Missouri. Fargo's wife, Sarah, hosted a tea party on the fantail of the battleship.

"I think what really struck me is after a long flight from Australia (the president) charged into the crowd as a very animated person," said Justin Jaech, webmaster for the Missouri, and former battleship crew member from 1985-87.

"I think it was the veterans who really charged him up," Jaech said. "He seemed genuinely happy to be back in the United States."


The president had a brief tour of the surrender deck, captain's cabin and wardroom, and made personal comments to just about everyone, Jaech said.

"He seemed to be able to connect with individuals much better than you'd expect someone on his level would be able to," Jaech said.

Later, at Pearl Harbor Elementary School, the Bushes spoke to second-grade students in the school's courtyard and the first lady read from the children's book, "Giggle, Giggle, Quack."

In the early evening, Bush met with representatives of 13 Pacific island nations, including Guam and American Samoa, for nearly an hour at the Kahala Mandarin. The island leaders are meeting at the East-West Center to discuss issues such as security during the 7th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders.

Charles Morrison, president of the East-West Center, said Bush "wants to get their ideas how the U.S. can be the most helpful partner" on issues of concern. "Security obviously was a topic that was brought up. Island leaders mentioned training and getting their infrastructure up to speed," Morrison said.

As the Bush fund-raiser was breaking up in Waikiki, several hundred people waited at Hickam to give the president a send-off, and maybe one last "aloha."

Lt. Col. Bob Brumley, his wife, Jane, and their two sons, Trey, 10, and Caleb, 8, were in the first row behind a barricade that separated the crowd from Air Force One. The family had been out there for nearly three hours by the time the presidential entourage left.

"You don't get too many chances to get this close to the president," Jane Brumley said.

Marilou Abellana, a junior at McKinley High School, was one of the lucky people to shake hands with the president just before he boarded Air Force One.

"I never thought I would ever touch the president's hand and I actually did," Abellana said. "I was speechless."

Oct 24, 2003, 4:13 PM
Wow that's really intresting!

Oct 24, 2003, 4:31 PM
^You so crazy girlfriend haha :laugh: hey i'm just making new threads dont mind me i didnt think anyone would look ;)

Oct 24, 2003, 6:23 PM
so then why did you make this thread? :nuts:

but i still find it odd to see Bush at a podium with a british flag behind him.. didn't they ever thought of changing it to an american flag in the corner?

then again they should keep it for historical purposes :yes:

Oct 24, 2003, 6:27 PM
That flag is Hawaii.

Oct 24, 2003, 6:31 PM
no really??? i thought it was Timbuktu :no: sigh...

im playin :D

Oct 24, 2003, 8:05 PM
mthq, i really dont why i made the thread :nuts: Besides dont you folks love Uncle B? :D

Oct 24, 2003, 9:01 PM
ahh bush, never thought he'd able to make hsi way into this sub-forum, show's anything is possible :D

Oct 24, 2003, 9:02 PM
btw : lol @ Uncle B

Oct 24, 2003, 10:28 PM
ahh bush, never thought he'd able to make hsi way into this sub-forum, show's anything is possible :D

Took me by surprise too!

Oct 24, 2003, 10:54 PM
^Well i tried to be sneaky thats why i didnt mention his whole name :D

James Bond Agent 007
Oct 24, 2003, 11:15 PM
Seems the only time a president gets to Hawaii or Alaska is on their way to and from a trip to Asia.

Oct 24, 2003, 11:23 PM
^Usually, although Bush has been there before but not as President, there have been other Presidents who have vacationed there like the Clintons, and others before him as well. Ex Vice Pres Gore used to take vacations on Kauai every year when he was in office too.

Oct 26, 2003, 3:22 AM
Is that the hawaiian flag? it has the british flag on it?

Oct 26, 2003, 4:43 PM
^Yes thats the Hawaii State Flag, the original Hawaiian flag looks different from that but it was used before the US annexed it. Anyhow the state adopted the British Union Jack because of their long historical ties, the royalty of old Hawaii used to visit England on occasion and the UK also has many old Hawaiian artifacts, anyhow, the British did occupy Hawaii at one time but later gave it back to the people and well one of the main reasons why Hawaii adopted the Union Jack was because the UK help fool the French into thinking that it was occupied by the British, this was after the UK had already given Hawaii back to its people, France was sailing the high seas and was planning on claiming more land out in the Pacific, so when word got out that they were interested in Hawaii the British told the royal family in Hawaii about it and so they ended up raising the British flag again so that France would think it was a British colony and wouldnt mess with the islands. Talk about run-on sentence haha :D Of course they weren't the only country interested in taking over Hawaii so were the Russians which built a couple of forts on Kauai and one in Honolulu, BTW i think France managed to build a Fort on Maui if i'm not mistaken.