07 December 2012

Remembering Pearl Harbor

It was 71 years ago today that the attack on Pearl Harbor began at 7:48 a.m. local time. More than 2,400 people lost their lives that day. It was the beginning of the end of World War Two.

The world has changed since the events that led to the attack and those subsequent to it. But it's important that we never forget the futility of war.

I did a radio documentary in observance of the 50th anniversary of the attack. I was fortunate to interview a man who had been on a ship that was attacked and survived. The story of his experience that day was chilling and made we wish (then and now) that no person ever experiences anything like it again.

The attack on Hawaii figures prominently in much of my writing for reasons I can't explain. I had relatives who fought in the war, but none were on the islands on that day. And, although the attack occurs several years before the story I tell in my novel "News on the Home Front," the ramifications of it figure prominently.

So, why does Pearl Harbor come up in my writing so often? Maybe to make sure we never forget it happened. I don't want anyone to wonder -- as some did in relation to the movie "Titanic" -- whether it was a real event. It was real. Real people died. Real lives were forever altered. The memories should be just as real.

(The photograph is of a 1942 ceremony honoring those who died in the attack.)

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