Water problems plague state veterans cemetery

Water problems plague state veterans cemetery
Danny Gonzales
Danny Gonzales
Renee Nagahisa
Renee Nagahisa

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - This 4th of July weekend, many are honoring their loved ones who died fighting for the freedoms we enjoy today.

But some feel no one's fighting for them when it comes to the upkeep of their veterans' memorial sites.

State veterans cemetery officials say relief is in sight. This after a rare malfunction in their water system.

Danny Gonzales makes his weekly trip to the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery. He's been coming here for years.

But this Sunday is even more special to him. It's a day where his father, along with other veterans are honored for serving our country.

"I'm very proud of my old man, very proud of him," he said.

Yet when it comes to watering his father's flowers or even cleaning the gravestone, there's one challenge: trying to find water.

"I try to come up here every week or so and it's the second time, I've seen the water like this," Gonzales said.

Cemetery officials tell Hawaii News Now that its water pump broke down five weeks ago. During that time, many have had to rely on a few water stations that are both near and far away.

Officials say a problem like this could take a long time, but some are hoping for a quick fix.

"I don't understand why it would take so long, we pay taxes right, shouldn't it be a lot faster, take care of us, right, there's a lot of people who come here, this is 4th of July," Waialae Iki resident Renee Nagahisa said.

Nagahisa has been coming to the state veterans cemetery for more than 10 years. She comes every week to honor both her dad and uncle, whose graves are not near each other.

"For us we don't mind going here, but my uncle's down there, when that happens, no more water there, so luckily my husband fills the bucket up and I use half of that down there," she said.

Cemetery officials say they're moving as fast as they can when it comes to fixing the problem.

"The pump has to be replaced, therefore it had to come from the Mainland, it also had to be ordered through the state system, you can't just go to a friend down the street," State Office of Veterans Services director Mark Moses said.

Moses says the new water pump should be coming in this week and up and running in about a month. The broken water pump is nearly 20 years old. The total cost of the project is $17,000.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.