[ talkstory Category ]
December 07, 2002


Today is the 61st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. As the years wear on, fewer and fewer survivors remain alive to commemorate the event with their first-hand accounts.

It's a sad fact that these veterans will no soon longer be with us, and that that piece of vital history will be gone forever. I'm sure there will be a great deal of hoopla when the last Pearl Harbor survivor dies, but then where will that leave the event itself? As long as there are survivors to tell their stories, the event seems closer to us. Once that is gone, we'll just be left with history book accounts, factual but never really conveying the emotions experienced during the attack. Pearl Harbor might fade into a distant memory, overshadowed by the fresher emotions felt during Sept. 11th.

Posted by Vivi at December 07, 2002 08:47 AM


Posted by Ryan on December 7, 2002 9:01 PM:

I interviewed my grandmother several times for various school projects, and the events of that day and her subsequent internment at Tule Lake - rather, her recollection of them - are indeed treasures.

She speaks less English now than she did then, but she's also more interested in sharing her stories when we're together. I nod and smile and try to process what I can... but inside I always lament what I might be missing. What facts and feelings will disappear forever someday.

The Holocaust-focused Shoah Visual History Foundation (founded by Steven Spielberg) has a lot of exposure. Fortunately, there are many folks working away at archiving memories of World War II as well. Obviously, my personal interest is in the oral histories of Japanese Americans.

Losing connections to history is an all-too-common tragedy, sadly. There are groups scrambling even now as a result of the dwindling numbers of veterans from the more contemporary Korean War.

I think Sept. 11 will, for better or worse, be one of the first fully preserved historical events in modern history. From CNN to online diaries and weblogs (to pro-Taliban websites), the variety of viewpoints and perspectives out there - and hopefully archived somewhere - is mind-boggling.

Posted by Lisa on December 7, 2002 9:19 PM:

I remember when, not too long ago, the survivors could be found volunteering at the Memorial, answering questions and telling their stories.

I don't think Pearl Harbor will be forgotten in the foreseeable future, especially as long as the Memorial is open to visitors. Everyone I know who has been there has not left with dry eyes.

It is my hope that all the events of World War II, from Hitler and his concentration camps to Pearl Harbor and the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are remembered so that they will not be repeated.

In a strange way, I think that Sept. 11 has drawn more attention to Pearl Harbor. From what I've heard from my family in California, it seems Pearl Harbor was more on the news there than here this year.

And unlike, say, the Alamo, the Day of Infamy has video, from actual footage to survivor's accounts and even a silly movie.

What impresses me most about Dec. 7, 1941 is how quickly things changed- Japan and the US went from enemies to economic partnership.

I remember an article in last year's Star-Bulletin about how survivors from both countries have formed lifelong friendships. This, to me, is an incredible testament to our capacity to forgive- men who personally fought against each other overcame such a history and became friends. It shows how communication and understanding are key in any conflict.

Posted by 7train on December 9, 2002 6:28 AM:

For people living in NYC, starting tonight there is a series on the news station NY1 dealing with the USS Arizona Memorial and how we can learn from it in building a memorial to the lives lost at the WTC. Should make for interesting viewing.

Post a Comment


Email Address:



Remember info?

« Boast About Your Host? | Solaris »
[ HawaiiAnswers.com - You ask, Hawaii answers. ] [ HawaiiAnswers.com - Hawaii's first online news source. ] [ HawaiiAnswers.com - Let's talk story. ]
Main Page  ::  © 2002-2004 HawaiiStories  ::  E-Mail