Restore arch, beach for war memorial

Honolulu Star-Bulletin

In its Dec. 5 editorial, the Star-Bulletin asserted that if the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium is not brought back to its original condition, the memory of our World War I veterans would be disrespected. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Kaimana Beach Coalition supports a plan to redesign a nonfunctional swimming pool and decrepit bleachers into a functional, two-acre memorial beach with a spectacular near-shore swimming channel running from Kaimana Beach through the demolished natatorium pool and up to the Queen’s Surf groin. This oceanfront area, dredged 75 years ago to create the natatorium pool, promises to become Hawaii’s premier near-shore swimming course.

A restored memorial arch framing the new beach, new bathroom facilities, carefully constructed groins to protect sand from erosion and a beach volleyball court would make this addition to Kaimana Beach a welcome improvement to our precious Waikiki shoreline.

The memorial beach would become a valuable resource reflecting our community’s respect for veterans. It also would provide new recreational opportunities and a healthy, child-friendly environment while saving millions of dollars in maintenance costs.

We must take a deep breath and join Mayor-elect Mufi Hannemann in moving into the future by recreating a war memorial beach that will stand the test of time, and show proper respect for our honored veterans and, just as importantly, for our community.

We have a new mayor and a new plan. It’s time for Mayor Harris to let go of his failed dream and not waste any more taxpayer money.

More information on the natatorium and an artist’s rendition of its future state can be seen at www.savekaimanabeach.org

Rick Bernstein
Kaimana Beach Coalition