97 year old man remembers Pearl Harbor attack

I feel like living-memory links to WWII are something precious and slipping away, so I enjoy reading stuff like this. It seems like ancient history, but this guy was right there. (Some of the quotes in the piece are from a 26-year-old article he wrote, though.)

My father in law was a teenager in Honolulu on Dec 7th, 1941. He remembers the smoke and the black out that followed. He lived up by where the college is.

I had the privilege of going with my late father in law to Pearl Harbor some years go. He was a WWII veteran, in the Army, and had passed through Pearl on his way overseas sometime in 1942 or 43. But a childhood friend of his died there, according to him on the Arizona. We went to the Arizona memorial and it was quite an emotional experience for my father in law, who had not been back to Pearl since the war.

My father spent time during the war on Guam and Saipan. He was a Navy SeaBee. He rarely talked of the war.

My father-in-law was like that too. If you asked him what he did during the war, the only answer you would ever get was, “I changed light bulbs on a hospital ship.” This got my son in trouble when he was in the second grade, when the teacher asked the class what their grandfathers did during the war. My son offered the only answer his grandfather ever gave, resulting in him having to stand in the coat closet for smarting off. Papa had to call the teacher and explain.

That’s a bit… Dickensian.

[quote=“Gordon_Cameron, post:6, topic:139094, full:true”]

Yes… She was more than a bit of a dick, figuratively speaking.

What would the teacher have said if he answered that his grandfather had killed “Japs”? Sounds like the teacher has problems.

She did indeed.