The Rt. Rev. Robert L. Fitzpatrick, Bishop of Hawaii, responds to the false alarm about a missile threatening the island state:
Many noted that there were no sirens and that there were no special reports. Military types noted that they doubt North Korea has the targeting ability to hit the islands. Those of us on Queen Emma Square remained calm. All in all, it was a long thirty minutes, but most in these Islands responded with calm.
A mistake happened. Someone pushed the wrong button. It was human error. Hopefully, we will improve systems and be more aware of possibilities. I said a prayer last night for the poor person who pushed the wrong button. Stuff happens.
As a Christian, I was reminded that our security is in God and the words from Psalm 46 … were immediately brought to mind. More importantly, the followers of Christ are called to be the heralds of peace. That begins with us and with our leaders. By challenging words of hate and prejudice, and by refusing to participate in actions that cause fear and encourage division, we live into the peace of Christ. The greatest gift we can give our children and grandchildren is to break down the walls of hate and fear that divide the nations of the world. We can refuse to demonize others or to allow anyone to speak words of hate on our behalf. We can respect the dignity of every human being.
Yes, great evil can happen and the worst is always a possibility, but as servants of Jesus Christ, we need not be afraid. We have been promised the peace that passes all understanding.
On his weblog, Rod Dreher considers how he and his wife, Julie, might have handled the false alarm if his family lived in Hawaii:
We were just waking up around my house, so all of us were here. I suppose Julie and I would have run into the bathroom, shut the door, and decided quickly how to tell the children. We would have awakened those still asleep, brought them to the living room, told them the news, and then … what?
I would have phoned my mother to tell her I loved her, “in case something happens.” There would not have been time to get to her. After that, it’s hard to imagine that we would have done anything else but sat together in the living room praying, and trying to stay calm. I would have done my best to lead us all in prayer, asking God to protect us from the danger, asking forgiveness for our sins, thanking Him for his mercies, asking each other forgiveness, and preparing our souls as best we could to meet him.
If I’m honest, I wouldn’t have run water in the bathtub, or done any disaster preparation. Nothing in that moment would have been more important than preparing to die. Right or wrong, that’s how I think things would have gone at our house this morning.