HAWAII WELCOMES FAMILIES OF VICTIMS

December 06, 2001 11:00 pm

Japans attack at Pearl Harbor 60 years ago today and the terrorists attack on the World Trade Center nearly three months ago crossed generational lines in Hawaii this week.

The Hawaii tourism industry is to be commended for paying most of the costs for some 600 relatives and colleagues of the firefighters, police officers and rescue workers who were killed or injured on Sept. 11 to come to Honolulu and visit Pearl Harbor this week.

Two Hawaiian Airlines jets flew the families from Kennedy International Airport to Hawaii on Monday. During the week, the family members of the victims have been surfing, enjoying the beach and shopping in Honolulu.

Earlier this week about 300 of the family members visited the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, which long has been a tribute to the thousands of American servicemen who lost their lives early on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941. Its been a bittersweet escape to a tropical island for the families who continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones in the World Trade Center attacks.

The trip to Hawaii culminates today when officers from the New York fire and police departments, the New York-New Jersey Port Authority and the Office of Emergency Management lay a wreath at a Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony at Punchbowl, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

The people who lost family at the World Trade Center are standing at an unusual crossroads today not only remembering the tragedy of Sept. 11, but reaching back 60 years to identify with the families who lost U.S. servicemen in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

It will be wonderful if the week of sightseeing and enjoying Hawaiis sunshine and surf is able to help the families in their healing process.

GET ON WITH REVIEW

Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth, serving under Republican George W. Bush, and Jack Ward Thomas, who served as Forest Service chief early in Democrat President Clintons administration, agree on one thing.

Bosworth and Thomas told a congressional subcommittee this week that the Forest Service suffers from analysis paralysis, created by laws passed by Congress and the scores of regulations written by agencies to implement these laws. The chiefs agree that the conflicts in laws and regulations are creating gridlock in the management of the Forest Services 192 million acres. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber also has stated that regulatory gridlock is a major problem.

A year ago Thomas, a former Forest Service scientist at La Grandes forestry and range sciences lab, called for the development of a public land review committee to study federal laws and rules with an eye to improving and streamlining forest management.

Its time to stop talking about developing a review committee. The president and Congress should take steps immediately to get a panel together that will recommend corrective action. Analysis paralysis has gone on too long.