To the Editor:
Our paper last week featured an article about Harry Kito and the bridge that will be named after him. The day after the article was published, I was told that Harry was killed by friendly fire. This is a false rumor. Harry was killed by shrapnel in the battle of Conthien during operation Buffalo. A major at the time referred to them as the walking dead as they were surrounded by enemy fire. Harry was the first fatality in Vietnam from Alaska.
I grew up with Harry and was a guest countless times in the Sam and Amelia Kito residence. Their home was wonderful, warm and welcoming. Harry was one of those special people who could always make you smile. He brought love, joy, laughter and warmth to all he came in contact with. He was one of those rare individuals who never had an enemy nor could anyone find anything negative to say about him. The picture in the paper last week showed us a warrior with the 1000 mile stare who gave his life for his country and for each and every one of us.
As you cross his bridge, think of him and all of those who have gone before him and after him, those who have sacrificed their lives for us.
As for me, my memory of Donald Harry Kito will always be of a bright and smiling face, bringing warmth and joy to all of us who were privileged to know him and to love him. There are a few people in your life that touch your heart and affect your very soul with their positive energy. Harry was one of those rare individuals. His was from a very special family with incredibly encouraging and wonderful parents.