Jack served as Grand Marshal of the Kamehameha Day Parade in Hilo.
Photographer unknown. Deemed to be in the public domain as per Circular 3, Copyright Notice, US Copyright Office, Library of Congress
Certainly, a popular actor is going to be called upon to make public appearances. It goes with the territory. He will appear in parades and help to raise money for good causes. So did Jack. His public appearances went further. He helped to judge art exhibitions, because he was an accomplished artist and capable of serving. He also made telephone calls, wrote letters, and gave speeches to help Hawai'i obtain a state film studio. He visited recovering children and veterans in local hospitals. He met with visiting dignitaries from other countries. No wonder the people of Hawai'i came to see Jack as a desirable gubernatorial candidate. The following entries showcase some of Jack's public appearances. He was quite highly sought after and served well in every way possible, whether the cause was big or small.
Annual Aloha Exhibition (1987). In April 1987, Jack served as a juror in the Annual Aloha Exhibition sponsored by the Association of Honolulu Artists. He displayed some of his own art at the event, as well.
Hawaii Film Festival (1985). Jack presented award(s) at the annual Hawaii Film Festival. This is a cause which both Jack and Marie supported avidly in its first years.
Hawaii Parade of American Music Awards (1984). Jack was active in the Parade of American Music Awards as related to Hawaiian music.
Aloha Day Parade (1979). Jack served as the grand marshal of the Pa`u Riders in the 1979 Aloha Day Parade. The parade is a part of the annual series of aloha festival events, which are held to promote Hawaiian culture. About the occasion, Jack said . . .
One of our great joys is that we've been accepted here by the Hawaiian people.
This year, they invited me -- a Caucasian -- to be grand marshal of the Pa'u
Riders in the Aloha Day Parade. This is considered an honor, even for Hawaiians.
It was the first time in the history of the parade that a haole has been so honored,
and one that I shall treasure as long as I live.
“I Am America” Speech (1980). On July 4th, 1980, Jack delivered a reading of Otis Whittaker's "I Am the Nation" to a group of servicemen. He said in his introductory remarks that he had delivered the same reading at the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans memorial at Punchbowl Cemetery several years earlier. The piece was written originally in the 1950s, but Mr. Whittaker updated it for the United States' bicentennial in 1976. That same year, on January 15, it appeared in the Norfolk and Western Railway Company's magazine. As you read it, you will realize that it is a piece that needs to be remembered, especially during these trying times.
I am Nathan Hale and Paul Revere. I stood at Lexington and fired the shot heard
around the world. I am Washington, Jefferson and Patrick Henry. I am John Paul
Jones, the Green Mountain Boys and Davy Crockett. I am Lee and Grant
and Abe Lincoln.
I remember the Alamo, the Maine and Pearl Harbor. When freedom called I
answered and stayed until it was over, over there. I left my heroic dead in
Flanders Fields, on the rock of Corregidor, on the bleak slopes of Korea and
in the steaming jungle of Vietnam.
I am the Brooklyn Bridge, the wheat lands of Kansas and the granite hills of
Vermont. I am the coalfields of the Virginias and Pennsylvania, the fertile
lands of the West, the Golden Gate and the Grand Canyon. I am Independence
Hall, the Monitor and the Merrimac.
I am big. I sprawl from the Atlantic to the Pacific … my arms reach out to
embrace Alaska and Hawaii … 3 million square miles throbbing with
industry. I am more than 5 million farms. I am forest, field, mountain and
desert. I am quiet villages—and cities that never sleep.
You can look at me and see Ben Franklin walking down the streets of
Philadelphia with his breadloaf under his arm. You can see Betsy Ross with her
needle. You can see the lights of Christmas, and hear the strains of “Auld Lang
Syne” as the calendar turns.
I am Babe Ruth and the World Series. I am 110,000 schools and colleges, and
330,000 churches where my people worship God as they think best. I am
a ballot dropped in a box, the roar of a crowd in a stadium and the voice of a
choir in a cathedral. I am an editorial in a newspaper and a letter to a Congressman.
I am Eli Whitney and Stephen Foster. I am Tom Edison, Albert Einstein and Billy
Graham. I am Horace Greeley, Will Rogers and the Wright brothers. I am George
Washington Carver, Jonas Salk, and Martin Luther King. I am Longfellow, Harriet
Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman and Thomas Paine.
Yes, I am the nation, and these are the things that I am. I was conceived in
freedom and, God willing, in freedom I will spend the rest of my days.
May I possess always the integrity, the courage and the strength to keep
myself unshackled, to remain a citadel of freedom and a beacon of hope to
This is my wish, my goal, my prayer in this year of 1976—two hundred years
after I was born.
NSA Bicentennial Celebration Parade (1975). Jack served as grand marshal of the Waikiki Hawai`i NSA Bicentennial Celebration Parade, held on July 26, 1975.
Barber's Point Art Exhibition (1971). Jack judged the 1971 Armed Forces Arts Festival at Barber's Point Naval Air Station. He was personally invited to do so by then-Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Adm John McCain.
Diamond Head Studio (late-1960s / early 1970s / mid-1970s). Jack was active in the effort to acquire land for a film studio with air conditioned, sound-proof sound stages. Through the efforts of this group, land was acquired in the area that had housed Fort Ruger military installation. Messers Yamamoto and Takahashi then donated the funds to build the new facility. These gentlemen were honored in an episode of Hawaii Five-0, "Pray Love Remember, Pray Love, Remember" (Season 1).
The studio moved when area residents protested to the presence of a film studio in their back yards. Season 9 was in production before the issue was resolved and the studio found its present location on 18th Street near Diamond Head Road. Today, Diamond Head Studio is known as the Hawaii Film Studio. The studio became home to Hawaii Five-0 and, later, to Magnum, PI. Currently, it is home to the Five-0 remake.
Kamehameha Day Parade (1984). When the town of Hilo on the Big Island asked Jack to help them out, he accepted and served as the Grand Marshal of their Kamehameha Day parade. Hilo is a small town, and their parade was a small one, but not too small for our Jack.
Thanksgiving Day Parade (1979, 1984). Jack narrated the Aloha Week segment of CBS's coverage of its All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade. When aired on the mainland, the Neilsen ratings leaped up as viewers were lured away from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on another network.
Retarded-Children's Home. According to Hal Lewis, who was best known to Hawaiians and Five-0 fans as disc jockey "Aku" (J. Akuhead Pupule), Jack voluntarily waged a campaign to raise $150,000 for the retarded-children's home.
Hawai'i Children's Hospital (1978). Jack greeted the young patients and their parents at the Hawai`i Children's Hospital. Jack remained very active with causes to help children in need.
Teaching Assist Center (1977). Jack visited with a deaf / hearing impaired child at Honolulu's Teaching Assist Center. A photograph (unavailable) of the occasion indicates that both Jack and the child were having a very good time. In another photograph (also unavailable, I'm sorry to say), Jack is shown drawing a picture of a three-masted sailing ship on the chalkboard as he met with these children. Can you imagine how excited they were as they sat and watched him!
National Salute to Veteran Patients. Jack actively supported those who served in the military. In addition to addressing servicemen, he participated in special programs for veterans, especially those recuperating from their injuries in Honolulu. Recuperating servicemen were important to Jack, who served in the Merchant Marines throughout World War II. He was injured when the ship on which he was serving was attacked and sank in seven minutes’ time. Here are several events which Jack supported; there are more:
No Greater Love. For many years, Jack hosted the Salute to Hospitalized Veterans, which was sponsored by the No Greater Love charity. Each Valentine's Day week, supporters sign a poster, which is presented to the patients, and have their pictures taken with patients in the hospital.
According to the Veterans Administration, the purpose of the National Salute to Veteran Patients Program is to:
pay tribute and express appreciation to Veterans;
increase community awareness of the role of the VA medical center;
encourage citizens to visit hospitalized Veterans and to become involved as volunteers
In a press release, the public affairs office at Tripler Army Medical Center said their "program is the largest in the nation due to Lord's leadership."
In February 1974, Jack was honored with the No Greater Love Award at Tripler Army Hospital, Honolulu. On the day in question, he was visiting wounded American Samoan warriors, who were patients at the hospital. A plaque was presented by a hospital representative to Jack, who appeared pleasantly surprised, while Marie looked on with a very somber expression.
Read more about it: http://www.volunteer.va.gov/NationalSaluteVeteranPatients.asp and about No Greater Love: http://www.ngl.org/.
Other Services Rendered to Veterans
· In February 1981, he visited disabled veterans at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Honolulu. A veteran representing Hawai`i Chapter 3 of the Disabled American Veterans called Jack "A Great American."
· In 1971, Jack greeted recuperating servicemen who went to Fort DeRusey and sat in the rain to see him when he appeared as a guest on the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
Stagehands of the Honolulu Theatre for Youth. Jack lent his support to organizations promoting acting and the arts, especially as benefitted young people in Hawai`i. One such organization was the Stagehands of the Honolulu Theatre for Youth.
Muscular Dystrophy Telethon (1978). In 1978, Jack participated in the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Direction Sports. Jack supported Direction Sports, an organization that promoted sports activities for disadvantaged children. He did what he could for Hawai`i's youth and seemed to enjoy having them on Five-0 when the plot would allow.
The Variety Club, Honolulu Day School. Jack supported The Variety Club at the Honolulu Day School parents and teachers organization and encouraged others to do so.
Hawai'i International Film Festival. Jack and Marie generously supported the Hawai'i International Film Festival. The Festival was established in 1981 to advance cultural exchange and media awareness in the Pacific Rim. It has been endorsed by governments, filmmakers, scholars, educators, programmers and film industry leaders worldwide for its efforts to promote emerging films from Asia and the Pacific and screens films from over 45 countries.
Mahalo nui loa to Steve's Girl for contributing to this article.