The Aloha Spirit Perseveres

How does one say goodbye forever to the people who matter to them the most? Youd like to think that when the time comes, you would know what tsay. The perfect words would string themselves together to capture the essence of 21 years of unconditional love. In reality, its like getting a whole tortilla chistuck sideways in your gullet while someone spins you in circles.

My dad called me at 8:15 am Hawaiian Standard Time, mostly to tell me noto worry, but also to tell me goodbye because he, like the rest of the state, wervery unsure if they were going to die in a nuclear holocaust within the next 10 minutes. He told me he was hiding in my bathtub, which seems silly, but unlesyou can make it to a military base within the supposed 12 minutes of warnintime Hawaii gets before a blast, youre pretty much out of options. He wasnwith my mom and neither of us could get through to her. She sent me a simple text, I love you.

When they started testing the civil defense nuclear missile sirens over Christmabreak, we (mostly jokingly) concurred dying in the blast would be preferentiato the slow horrors of nuclear fallout. If you’ve ever been on the Islands durina natural disaster, you know how laidback Hawaii can be in the face of serioudanger. We surf through tsunami watches and buy beer in bulk to be preparewhen hurricanes hit, but a ballistic missile? I just got in the car and we werdriving 100 miles per hour but we werent going to make it anywhere, said mmom.

After what felt like an eternity, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard tweeted thathe threat was a mistake. Why did it take so long, and why her? Because thlines were jammed (including the governors own phone) so a Hawaii residenin D.C. was the only one who could call civil defense to check. My parents laugabout it now, saying it at least showed how unprepared we are and now everyonis throwing “we survived parties. The aloha spirit wont be quashed by a mernuclear precipice, and our nation will not forget that the president finished al18-holes instead of assuring his people they werent going to perish in historybiggest button measuring contest.

Quinn Ferrar, Staff Writer