Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 1941.
All hell broke loose. America changed forever.
A young girl had awakened early for church. Her parents were still in bed, trying to get a few extra minutes of sleep. They were rustled from their slumber when the girl came in and told them of the plane that almost hit their home. The girl’s father asked her if it was one of “our” planes. The girl would know; she was the daughter of a Naval officer. Had been all her life. The girl told her father about the red dot she’d seen on the plane and her father bolted out of bed. He raced down to work, where total chaos reigned: ships were sinking, buildings were burning, bodies were broken. America was now, without question, at war. The attack was deliberate. The fight was brought to our shores.
That girl grew up to become a Naval officer’s wife, a nurse, a historian, a champion of all those who were at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day, and a role model for many. She later became a family friend. (Somewhere, deep in the “lost” archives of 2008, are entries about her and her remarkable family, her connection to LD and me. If ever I unearth these posts, I will link them here.) I’ve not heard from this dear woman in a couple years and fear she has passed, but today I shall reach out to her (and her son) and find out for certain. I pray she’s still with us.
I think of her stories, her incredible life, the lives of those lost on this day, and how America fought back…I remember the lessons we learned, not just through history books, but through those who survived and shared their experiences with us.
We must listen. We must learn. We must remember.