Pearl Harbor Day–A Reminder to Preserve Our Stories

December 7, 2012  - by 

Today is the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This act of war was a pivotal event in world history. It was perhaps the key event leading to the entry of the United States into World War II. In this single attack 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians were killed. More than 1,178 people were wounded. This was an American historical event that no one should ever forget.

This attack had implications for more than just American soldiers. Thousands of Japanese American citizens were dramatically affected by the events of December 7th. Many of these Americans had full citizenship, yet lost all they had as they were taken to holding camps throughout the country. Jobs were lost, businesses and lands were confiscated and freedoms were taken away. Thousands of American and Japanese people suffered untold miseries as a result of the events spawned by all that took place on this day in 1941.

The fact that this is the 71st anniversary of the attack indicates that there are very few American and Japanese men and women who were present at Pearl Harbor and the ensuing world war who are still alive. Many of those who are still living are now in their late 80s and 90s and their memories are fading. Soon, those who lived through Pearl Harbor will be gone, along with the living memories of those profound historical events.

There is a sense of urgency that accompanies this 71st celebration. It is more important now than ever to make a serious effort to talk to our aged family members who lived through these times, whether military or civilian. We must preserve their stories for future generations to learn from.

The Pearl Harbor video clip shows the power of sharing these precious stories. They will enrich the lives of children, grandchildren and generations to come. By preserving the memories of our family members who lived through Pearl Harbor and the world war that followed we are able to learn powerful lessons that should not be lost with time.

Gathering these stories can be fun and easy. A video titled Gathering Family Stories provides excellent instructions on how to begin gathering and preserving the stories of family members. It’s easy to follow and provides some excellent suggestions for creating a history that will become a family treasure for generations to come. Let’s collect and preserve those life changing stories of our ancestors before they are lost forever.



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  1. Richard Masaru Soma,my father in law was a civilian casualty in Wahiawa outside of Wheeler Field shot by air attack died 3 days later of wound, in Mack hospital at that time, on California and Kamehameha Hwy. Looking for any family, may be connected to my children, my husband was 2 yrs old at the time and did not have much information.