2016 was the kind of year that forces us to ask ourselves as a society, what we value most.
The Presidential Race made for a lot of soul searching, but reminded us all of how much we cherish this country and worry about its future.
Wars killed so many innocents and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. The hatred and violence spawned a new generation of terrorists – lone wolves out for blood and a headline. It reminds us how much we value peace.
And we said Aloha, in all its meanings, to the members of the greatest generation who survived the Dec. 7 attacks on Oahu. They were ready to lay down their lives, like so many did, and more may do so to defend freedom in the world.
Here in Hawaii, the exploding price tags for dealing with homelessness, improving schools, and building a modern transportation system, made us ask what it is our island community needs most.
It would be too much to hope that all these challenges will be resolved in 2017, but we can at least vow to face them with other values intact: civil discourse, fairness, compassion and the spirit of Aloha that has already carried us through so much.
Happy New Year.