Letter to the editor: Remembering those who died at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941

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Editor:

I always wake up on December 7th and remember what this date means to the United States of America. I received my Wall Street Journal, looked at the front page and saw no mention of what December 7th commemorates. I looked at the front page of the Seattle Times (which I do not receive) and gave a quick glance at its front page. Again no mention of December 7, 1941. I went to My Edmonds News, and saw absolutely nothing mentioned about December 7th, except that tonight several local churches are having a Candle Light Vigil to pray for “Climate Change” action, with the mayor of Edmonds speaking at their Climate Change Event. Are the churches having any vigil for the horror that besieged this country on December 7th, so long ago? I called Edmonds United Methodist to ask; they are not having any kind of service to honor/remember December 7th, however they are part of the Climate Change vigil for tonight.

I was not even born in 1941, but my family, my church, my school, my community and my conscience ALWAYS had me remember what December 7th meant. My father went off to enlist in the Marine Corp after this December 7th attack. He was 18 years old. He fought in the Pacific Theatre. So instead of our local churches having a “Candle Light Vigil” for all those who died in the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941; they have chosen to have a vigil for climate change. Could any other date have been picked for this Climate Change Vigil? Have we as a community lost our sense of history? Have we no soul? Has the 74 years erased this cataclysm of an event?

My parents’ generation has almost perished. But many of that generation died before their time because of December 7th surprise attack by Japan. I cannot even imagine how they, who fought, would feel if they knew that 74 years later the local churches, government heads, and schools would not even remember what December 7th represents. That it would be ignored and not one candle be lit to remember them.

So to you who remember, please light your candle; to those who fought and sacrificed, I honor you. I will always honor you, I will always remember, and I will always tell my children, my grandchildren what December 7th means and what you did for this United States of America. And will also remind my heirs that history repeats itself, because people forget.

Linda Mae
Edmonds,

9 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, an excellent message and I am reminded on this day what my friend the peace activist and writer Robin Prising said to me about what I was never taught in school……within hours of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Phillipines and Manilla was attacked and occupied by the Japanese…….100,000 civilian Filipinos died. Mr. Prising and another American friend of mine spent time in the Japanese camp at Santo Thomas (the university there in Manilla converted into a prisoner camp for all rounded up, including Australians, Americans, English etc.). Mr. Prising who has now passed away wrote a book on this in 1975, Manilla Goodbye, published by Houghton Mifflin. Quite a few local Pacific Northwest and Seattle people were in this camp and a documentary was made by a Bellevue couple with interviews of the local people and Santo Thomas. My friend Dora Anderson Perkins (E.A. Perkins family, her father lawyer for Benquet mining in the Phillipines at the time) was in the camp …..her daughter born there in the camp and English husband died in the Bataan death march. Her daughter Sheila, who lived in Seattle too, died an early death of “unknown causes” because of being born in the camp

    This is an excellent read by Robin Prising that brings everything up close and personal of the many affected this horrible day……Mr. Prising became a well known theatre director in NYC and also published a well known poetry quarterly.

    I have the Santo Tomas documentary with locals interviewed if anyone wishes to borrow it.

    Mr. Prisings obit

    http:www.theguardian.com/book/2009/feb/17/obituary-robin-prising

    Recently my friend, Kenichi Nakano, who was also born in one of our camps when his Japanese family was rounded up here during the war and relocated to a camp. He also died of a rare cancer……..Seems many born in camps died early. Kenichi worked with Richard Haag and Associates on the Gas Works Park (the first of its kind ind the country) and also had his own large landscape arcitecture firm in Seattle and was a landscape architecture professor at the University ofvWashington.

    Many people and generations all over the world affected personally by war……

    ..I say peace is still a good thing as we remember lives lost and the numbers

  2. Wonderfully written! Where is the media? Where are our community groups? Where is our local leadership? Can we imagine as a society today- looking forward 74 years and having the anniversary of September 11th pass with no mention from newspapers, community groups or elected officials? This seems unthinkable, doesn’t it?- yet it is exactly what is happening to the history of our grandparents, seemingly vanishing into oblivion – without mention by media or community groups in this area. Can you imagine a vigil for anything other than 9/11 on 9/11? Wouldn’t that be the epitome of disrespect? Pearl Harbor was an attack of unimaginable magnitude on American soil with thousands of lives lost- are we so devoid of reflection and respect that this is now a list artifact?

  3. Thank you Linda for remembering what to many others want or seem to forget. If these brave men and women had not fought and won, we Americans would be under a totally different rule. This premises was portrayed in recent a TV first year series named “The Man In The High Tower”. I suggest we Americans need to watch what could have happened.

  4. I had 3 brothers serve WW11. All 3 were wounded. I’ll never forget Pearl Harbor and those who lost their lives there and the war that followed.

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