Today marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This date has always had a special meaning for me. My father is from Hawaii and my grandparents were living in Honolulu when the attack occurred. When I was a little girl, my grandmother would tell us the story of how she was coming home from mass and saw the planes flying overhead and how scared they were in the days following, not knowing if another attack would occur. Later when I was an adult I learned that my grandfather, who worked at Pearl Harbor, helped to recover bodies. That was a story he did not like to discuss. So December 7, 1941 is a date that reminds me not only of all those who perished on that day but of my grandparents as well.
The photo above, dated May 27, 1942, shows sailors placing leis on the graves of men killed at the Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay during the attack. Photo from the Library of Congress.