Reflections of Pearl Harbor still visible, available today |

Reflections of Pearl Harbor still visible, available today

by Pegi Webster

Recently, this country acknowledged the 64th anniversary of the tragedy at Pearl Harbor, HI. For those in my generation, the baby boomers, World War II and Pearl Harbor are memories belonging to our grandparents or parents or simply chapters studied in high school history. Terrible to listen to, of course, but to so many of us, not much more real than tragedies of ancient Rome or the exodus across the western U.S.

We really had no sense of the terror of the thing; that is of course, until Sept. 11, 2001. Sixty years later, a mere eye blink in historical time, we knew exactly what the country had gone through after the attack on Pearl Harbor. For better or worse, the evolution of communication allowed the world to know immediately and in vivid horrific color what was happening as it happened, something that did not happen in 1941. Americans were left to wait and wonder and received their information in pieces only as it became available.

In 2001, we witnessed the tragedy live and it frightened us beyond belief. Watching, we were forever robbed of the sense of security most of us naively felt. I can’t imagine which was worse, not knowing what was going on across a warm ocean, all the while knowing something terrible was and being forced to accept the information in government spun spoonfuls; or not knowing what was going on across the country even as we watched every second of the destruction before our eyes.

Both occurrences led to war, both wars kept the nation in a state of uncertainty for the country’s future; but that, of course, is the nature of wars.

As the year 2005 comes to a close and we continue to watch, listen and wait for this war to also come to its end, we think of parallels.

On Dec. 3, the Minden Library and Carson Valley Writers’ Group was treated to a collection of memoirs of Pearl Harbor Survivors compiled and published by the group’s own Monita Low Boesewetter.

A member of the writers’ group for two years, Monita divides her time between the Carson Valley area and New York City. She attended Roosevelt High in Honolulu, and when she accepted the invitation to attend the 60th reunion of the graduating class of 1940, the conversation naturally turned to “where were you on Dec. 7?”

As Monita writes, “there was no need to add which year.” From this conversation was born her collection of memoirs, an interesting and poignant book that bring to life a time many of us knew only from a history class. Not just personalizing Pearl Harbor, this memoir paints a colorful picture of pre-state Hawaii in the 1930s and 1940s.

Monita is a delightful person and a talented writer with many interesting stories to tell. If you would like a copy of the enjoyable memoir she has put together from the memories of her classmates and friends, contact me and I will be happy to put you in contact with Monita.