Dec. 7: “A date which will live in infamy”

We observe National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on December 7 to honor the 2,403 Americans who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941. It led to the United States declaring war on Japan the next day and entering World War II, as Wikipedia reminds us.

We all have our own memories of Pearl Harbor. We have visited the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, including one trip with our son. Looking into the water from the monument, it is a sobering experience. Fuel continues to leak from the USS Arizona’s wreckage.

In Grass Valley, some of our locals are Pearl Harbor survivors, including retired Lt. Cmdr. Louis A. Conter, now 99 years old. We have met Louis and heard him speak at the Vet’s Hall in Grass Valley.

Other locals also have memorabilia to share. “These are from my dad’s photo album just before the attack,” regular reader Chip Wilder said in an email to me this week. “He was going to school at Pearl and was late coming on base that morning because they went to church off base. He was living with a couple others and drove onto the base just before they closed the gate during the attack.” (All photos courtesy of Chip Wilder).

We must never forget our history.

(credit: Chip Wilder)
(credit: Chip Wilder)
(credit: Chip Wilder)
(credit: Chip Wilder)

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

One thought on “Dec. 7: “A date which will live in infamy””

  1. This could also be under “What are you thankful for”, because I might not be here if Dad hadn’t gone to church that morning. He was on the USS Enterprise when they put him ashore at Pearl to go to school as a “fire controlman”. December 7—When he arrived at the “quay” that morning, he jumped into a small boat and started pulling men out of the water. 3 years later, as fate would have it, he ended up on the USS Quincy and was there for the Yalta Conference, as well as seeing action most everywhere they sailed. Although my Dad and his two brothers all came back from the war, they rarely talked of the action/fighting that they saw. It was something, I think, that you/they didn’t talk about because of a certain amount of “class”, that you didn’t or wouldn’t bring it up-ever again. War.
    Today I will have a beer (Dad would drink a quart of Lucky Lager over a weekend while watching football) and thank my lucky stars. I salute you, and all who are here because someone served, and survived and gave us life.

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