On this day in 1927, Hawaiian Olympian swimmer Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968) celebrated his 37th birthday by opening the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium.
At the time, the structure cost $252,000 to build. Located near the gentle slopes of Diamond Head, the natatorium was to be a living memorial to 102 Hawaiian servicemen who died during World War I.
"Vita enim mortuorum in memoria vivorum posita est," wrote ancient Roman Marcus Tullius Cicero, which translated means, "The life of the dead lives on in the memory of the living."
At the heart of the natatorium is the huge tide-fed saltwater pool where world-renown swimmers such as Kahanamoku, Buster Crabbe, and Johnny Weismuller trained.
In days gone by, local children learned how to swim there. After years of neglect and deterioration, the pool was closed for safety reasons in 1979.
In 2000, the city launched a controversial $11 million project to fix the cement cracks and bring life back to the south shore memorial which is on both the national and state historic registers.
Honolulu mayor and marine biologist Jeremy Harris explained that the restoration will "keep our promise to those who died for our freedom."
Look to the heavens for restoration.