15 December 2011
Yesterday, I got wind of a disgraceful incident by the crew of a tv show towards our most precious Veterans of Pearl Harbor Day. The news wires were reporting that a group of Pearl Harbor survivors - respected members of our Greatest Generation - Veterans all in their 80's and 90's, had made a pilgrimage to the PunchBowl Cemetary to hold a commemorative Service to honor their brothers who perished on that "Day in Infamy."
This was to be a solemn, dignified service, but because of the presence of a Hawaii Five-0 tv crew, was turned into a terrible display of ignorance and disrespect.
The milblogs heard of this, and had the expected response:
Hawaii Five-O [doesn't get it] Want to know why? Go read here, here, and here. You can read the drippingly insincere "apology" from the executive producer here. Mr. Lenkov, you can take your permit, fold it into many points, and insert it. You may have had it, but it does not make you in the right or right, because as was famously said recently, you can have the right to ask your cable company to accept interpretive dance as payment; but, it doesn't make it a good idea. You and your team showed great disrespect to the living and dead who paid the price for you to have your freedoms. Your non-heartfelt (to be polite) words don't mean jack. Man up, do right, and find a way to make it right -- which is a polite version of what I want to say to you. Oh, and when it comes to who I believe on what happened, I will take the word of the veterans who were there over a production pogue...
I think Laughing Wolf just about covers all the points here, (even though he was far more polite than I managed to be in my original piece) but of course, I had to go to the original witness of this disgusting lack of RESPECT to our Veterans on what should have been - was planned to be - a most sombre, meaningful day:
Monday, December 12, 2011
Hawaii Five-0 Crew Disgraceful To WWII Pearl Harbor Survivors
(NATIONAL CEMETERY OF THE PACIFIC – HONOLULU)
It looked strange from the moment we pulled up to the Punchbowl, a sacred Hawaiian site once the location for human sacrifice before Cook's arrival to the islands. Our tour bus, filled with 23 WWII Pearl Harbor survivors as part of The Greatest Generations Foundation came to the beautiful location in an old crater above downtown Honolulu for a closing ceremony and presentation. The National Cemetery of the Pacific pays tribute to those veterans of all faiths who served their country, many who lost their lives during WWII.
The cemetary repesentatives may have been appropriately respectful but what follows almost defies belief. Almost.
Steffan Tubbs of Newsradio 850 KOA, Denver, Colorado's Morning News co-host, and Board member of The Greatest Generations Foundation, describes in detail how ignorant the cast and crew of this television show was to his group of Pearl Harbor Veterans. To get the full weight of the insults heaped upon these amazing gentlemen at the hands of these tv show people (because you know "the show must go on" ) go here.
What is just as disturbing to me is the email exchange back and forth between Mr Tubbs and the executive producer of this tv show. Peter M. Lenkov starts out by assuring Mr Tubbs he will investigate the incident, but finally devolves into basically calling Mr Tubbs a liar. Really? Not from my reading.
Ignorance and disrespect on full display. Ignorance from not just the tv crew, but also whoever gave them the permits to BE on those grounds, walking on the graves of these Fallen Heroes, disrupting, disrespecting the occasion, in that week, of all weeks in the year. Hello? ANYbody in the permit approval department got a clue at all? Apparently not.
Walking on the sacred graves: the epitome of ignorance and disrespect, I don't care WHO you are, or what cemetary you are at, or even what day of the year. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
I happen to be quite familiar with the machinations of the film industry (don't ask) and I have seen for myself - up close and far too personal - how arrogant most of them are. They all have such a sense of entitlement, doncha know. I have also witnessed the ignorance from those movie industry types who think they are oh so precious; the crews and actors who think they have the right to do whatever the hell they like, no matter who or what they trample on.
THIS time, on Pearl Harbor Day, this tv crew trampled on the wrong graves, and disrespected the wrong group. Since they were apparently so hell-bent on disrespecting OUR Veterans in favour of their budgetary considerations, I suggest we - the public - respond by withdrawing OUR financial support for all that show's sponsors. Hit 'em in the wallet, since it is obvious that the language of the almighty dollar suprecedes all consideration of respect.
I am not optimistic that these jerks are capable - at this stage in their lives - of learning anything about respect of their betters. But until Hawaii Five-0 bank accounts are negatively affected, ( and I am confident they will be, on the heels of this inexcusable ignorant disrespect) I suggest all those connected with that show open a history book or two or three, to learn what REAL service, REAL sacrifice, and REAL love of country looks like. You know, values waaaaaaaay more important than a tv show.
May I suggest that they perhaps start with this video, which I posted on my own site on Pearl Harbor Day.
If you would like to tell CBS what you think of this, this is the CBS contact form which I found in a comment over at This Ain't Hell who also lambasted Hawaii Five-0 for this whole mess of their own making.
The fact is, from the first person who thought it was a good idea to the the Cemetary director to the Executive Producers non-apology for his crew "just" acting in "haste to finish their work," this is a series of bad decisions that should never have happened.
That this DID happen begs the question of what, if anything, this particular tv crew can do to make things 'right.' NOT just because they now have a growing PR mess, but because many of our Greatest Generation will probably never be able to make such a pilgrimage again.
Last night, on a radio show, we were discussing what steps could be taken to undo the damage - the insult - done by these ignorant, disrespectful morons. Suggestions of huge donations to the Greatest Generation Foundation were offered, as was another idea of shutting down that whole program, and firing all involved - period. Was also raised that whoever issued the permit for that day, for that sacred place, should be fired. All these ideas sound good to me, but the truth of the matter is, there is NO making this right for our Veterans who were viewed as an inconvenience to the oh so 'busy' crew.
I see today that the Hawaii tv crew are hitting the airwaves (and their FaceBook page) plus the print media, in full on *apology* mode. Far too little, far too late. This should never have happened, and they should ALL be ashamed of themselves. They should be.