Living on Maui, wrapped up in work, family and day-to-day life, it's easy to forget that American soldiers are fighting in the Middle East.
But these faraway conflicts certainly hit home with the passing of West Maui soldiers, including Sgt. First Class Kelly Bolor in a helicopter crash on Nov. 15, 2003, in Iraq, and Spc. Jay Cajimat, who was killed by a roadside bomb on April 6, 2007, in Baghdad.
This weekend, as you enjoy a well-deserved day off with family and friends, think about these Maui soldiers and the meaning of Memorial Day.
The late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, a World War II Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his valor with the U.S. Army's 442nd Regimental Combat Team, has said Memorial Day is "a time to honor and reflect on the sacrifices made by Americans in combat."
Americans in our Armed Forces make great sacrifices in their jobs. They leave their loved ones and lives at home to serve their country, and face horrors and challenges we ordinary citizens probably cannot comprehend.
This weekend, say a prayer for Kelly, Jay and Lahaina's Beloved War Dead: Clarence Aki, Matsuei Ajitomi, Tokio Ajitomo, Jaime Barreto, Vincent Bedoya, Giichi Chinen, Manuel Freitas, Takeo Fujiyama, Katsumi Harada, Masami Higuchi, Susumu Imano, Kenneth Kaaihue, Michael Kaaihue, Lincoln Kaumeheiwa, Sadao Kawamoto, Tadashi Miyahira, Akeji Morinaga, Gary R. Naganuma, Martin Naganuma, Gary A. Nakaima, Kosei Nakamura, Hideichi Nakata, Albert Neizman, Masayoshi Oba, Sanichi Oba, Hiroshi Oku, Masanao Otake, Warren Prescott, Walter Rickard, Nobumi Shibao, Nobuo Shishido, Jiro Suzawa, Hitoshi Taguchi, Tadashi Wakabayashi and Mitsuichi Yoshigai.
Keep these heroes, as well as the soldiers of today and their families waiting for them at home, in your thoughts on Monday.