Retired Colonel honored with ihe
November 21, 2008
By Molly Hayden
WAIKIKI, Hawaii - Heroes are among us and retired Col. David Peters is no exception. Peters spent much of his life assisting and caring for others.
From his extensive career in the U.S. Army to his constant work in the community, Peters is a mentor and an inspiration to many.
In celebration of Peters' commitment to the military and his community, more than 200 guests gathered to honor the everyday hero as he received the 2008 Ihe Award, given to outstanding members of the community. The award was presented by the Hawaii Army Museum Society (HAMS).
Numerous lei danced around his neck as he entered the Coral Ballroom at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, here, Nov. 12.
Pumehana Cullen performed an oli, a traditional Hawaiian greeting, and Staff Sgt. Samuel Hesch, 111th Army Band, Hawaii Army National Guard, sang the national anthem and Hawaii Ponoi, the Hawaii State Song, to kick off the event.
Retired Col. Walter Ozawa, Ihe Award Committee, welcomed guests and spoke of Peters' many years of selfless service.
"We celebrate a great American, Soldier, outstanding leader and a Maui boy," said retired Maj. Gen Herbert Wolff, president emeritus, HAMS. "I could go on and on about the service this man."
Peters sat with his wife Mele and smiled ear-to-ear as a slideshow depicting his life and service projected on a nearby screen. Gerry Silva and Jimbo Taylor of Olelo Community Television and the students of Waianae Intermediate School created the slideshow.
Peters' life of leadership, commitment and service was evident at an early age. He was an award-winning orator and president of his junior and senior high school classes. Upon graduation, he became the first person from the island of Maui to be appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
After graduating from the academy in 1946, Peters commenced his military career as a second lieutenant at Fort Benning, Ga., and continued to serve his country for the next 30 years.
Wolff, along with Victoria Olson, executive director for HAMS, then honored Peters with an ihe, or spear, celebrating his contributions to the military and civilian communities, and his continuous, dedicated service to the people of Hawaii.
In ancient Hawaii, warriors who served chiefs kept themselves ready to meet every challenge. One symbol of a warrior's readiness was the ihe, which was always at his side. The ihe Peters received is made of koa wood, supported by a block of ohia wood, both of which are unique to Hawaii.
The crowd applauded as Peters received the award and expressed his gratitude.
"I want to be remembered as an individual caring and assisting others in finding workable solutions to make their lives better," said Peters.