15 Comments

“WHERE THE HECK IS PEARL HARBOR?”


USS Bagley

It was a beautiful sunny morning in Southern California, and I was wearing the new red wool plaid suit which was supposed to be my Christmas present bought from money my Dad had sent, but even though it was only December 7th, I had wanted to wear it before the holidays. I loved it so much I wore it all the way through high school.

My Dad been gone for most of that year, the longest cruise yet, though we had no idea where he was. He could not tell us where his ship was and according to his censored V-mail letters he was “somewhere in the Pacific”, but we didn’t know where. It was apparent that there might be trouble sometime soon.

I remember the house smelling all warm and delicious from the cake my grandma had just taken from the oven for Sunday dinner. We had two girls who boarded with us and they were hurrying to get away to the beach for the day; I had just fed our dog, Wimpy, and put him outside, when I heard the crackle of the big Philco radio change from music to the voice of President Roosevelt saying that “this day will go down in infamy.” I had no idea what the word infamy meant.

Everyone gathered around the radio to hear the news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I stupidly asked “where the heck is Pearl Harbor?” but no one else knew either, so we got out the large atlas and saw that it was “somewhere in the Pacific”, in the Hawaiian Islands.

We did not get the news until much later, that my Dad’s ship had been in Pearl Harbor, and was moored across the channel from the disastrous bombing of the USS Arizona. The majority of America’s major fleet, including the main battlewagons, were destroyed or badly damaged during the sneak attack.

It killed America’s isolationism, and made the American population determined to go to war and soon after, we joined Britain in fighting the war in Europe.

Having been out at sea for such a long time, they had come into the harbor to take on much needed food and water, but the attack happened before that could occur. Fortunately his ship suffered little damage.

He returned home for a brief week about a year later for minor repairs, but he would be at sea for another four years. Yes, I remember Pearl Harbor, and now I know where it is.

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15 comments on ““WHERE THE HECK IS PEARL HARBOR?”

  1. What I remember is having to lie down on a blanket in the hall with all the lights turned out! Very scary memory!

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  2. WE then had men fighting in Europe for the last 3 years. many hundred Canadians were war prisoners in Europe and in Hong-Kong. These fared the worst.. Pearl Harbor, to us, was just one more bombing..though farther away from home as all the others were.
    However, those U Boots torpedoing ships in our St-Lawrence gulf and river war real war on our shores.

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    • Yes, we were very naive and isolationist. Later, we had the Japanese right off the coast in Southern Calif. It took us awhile, but we DID come through. The world has changed so much now that all the daily bombings in Middle East are common occurrances. It’s a bad way to grow up.

      ________________________________

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  3. Yes, the US did come through. Will it come through again and cease the warring?

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  4. The freedoms we take so much for granted that we hardly notice them would soon be at risk if the USA and its brave men and women were not there to defend them.

    One can never tell when that may become vividly apparent.

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  5. Hello Kayti. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I meant that the US is a leader in the world and has a great effect on its direction.

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  6. Hello again, Kayti. My apology missed something. I’m sorry for any implied offence to the courage and sacrifice of your father and other men and women who have fought for their countries and continue to fight for their countries. My comment was insensitive in this context. Best wishes. Narelle

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  7. What a gift you have Kayti..Yesss, history keeps repeating itself doesn’t it..
    I’m so grateful for our troops..How strong they are to keep up their morale. You make a flashback come to me so quickly. I was 5 when President Roosevelt spoke to the nation on that fateful day and my mom, dad, some aunts and uncles were intently listening to the radio ..of course, i didn’t know what had happened at the time.. but soon..the “blackouts” and rationing came to the Bay Area.. God Bless our troops. I’ll stop now..i could go on and on.
    xo
    me

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  8. This was excellent, Kayti! I could picture it all!

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  9. How vivid your imagination is
    How sad grandpa was away so much
    The war was devastating but Aren’t all wars?

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