Today people around the globe will celebrate one of the world's most important events in history--the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama to become the 44th President of the United States.
People that live in Hawaii or have ties to Hawaii are particularly proud of this achievement as Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961 at Kapiolani Hospital. You can see a copy of his Hawaii birth certificate and a detailed photograph of the Birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser's Births, Marriages, Deaths column printed in The Sunday Advertiser newspaper on August 13, 1961 at FactChecker.org
I felt compelled to add the above because when I was standing in line at the grocery store check out the other day, the sleazy tabloid called the Globe (January 12, 2009 issue) had a huge headline shouting, "Where Obama was Really Born!"-In this hospital 8,000 miles from the US, New Shocking Charge, Is his Inauguration Against the Law? I took a quick look inside and it claimed Obama was born in an African hospital in Mombasa, Kenya. I find it incredulous that this tabloid trash magazine can get away with printing outright lies. I think Obama could have a libel lawsuit against them and others who have tried to defame him.
45 years ago, John F. Kennedy said, "Hawaii is what the rest of the world is striving to become." And Michelle Obama told her husband's biographer David Mendell, "You can't really understand Barack until you understand Hawaii." As for Obama himself he once said, "What's best in me, and what's best in my message, is consistent with the tradition of Hawaii."
If you want to begin to understand how Hawaii's environment, people and culture influenced Obama to become the man he is today, what better way than by visiting the places where he lived, went to school, played, and worked.
You could pay around $40.00 to go on one of the several Obama Hawaii tours being offered, or be adventurous and take a self guided Obama Hawaii tour for free. I found the best Obama Hawaii site called Obama's Hawaii Neighborhood. Even if you can't make it to Honolulu, this wonderful site has pictures, addresses, maps, and captions for all of the places he lived and frequented.
There is also a section called "The Neighborhood" which gives you a good idea of the Makiki working class neighborhood Obama grew up in. When you see it you will understand why Obama laughed when Republicans were trying to accuse him of being elitist earlier in the election.
The Obama's Hawaii Neighborhood site also features articles, videos, and related links. This wonderful site was created by Robert F. Kay, a professional journalist who through his research into Obama's past, understood how important Hawaii was in shaping Obama's present and future.
The more I read about candidate Obama and the more spoke to his old
classmates, teachers and friends the more intrigued about him I became.
Simultaneously, the more research I soaked up, the more I realized how
significant Hawaii was in shaping the intellect and psyche of this
Nobody in Hawaii seemed surprised at his tolerance, humility and relaxed manner. After all, he's "local" and these are qualities all revered by Hawaii culture. However, this "local" understanding of Obama is not necessarily shared elsewhere. Robert F. Kay
Congratulations to President Barack Obama, a true son of Hawaii. We are so proud of you.
See related post about how Obama flashed the shaka sign at his inauguration parade.