“The Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

by Matilda Butler on December 7, 2016

Post #77. Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

December 7, 75 years ago.

I am currently in Hawaii and the proximity to Pearl Harbor brings the emotions of the attack into sharp reality.

–The first time I felt, truly felt the emotional connection was during a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial. As I stood and read the names of those killed, I saw the name of a father and his two sons. All died within a few minutes of each other. The sense of tragedy was always there, but that moment brought it close.

–Later, I taught a memoir writing class. As we went around the table telling of the most significant event in our lives, one woman began describing being in Honolulu on December 7, 1941. She couldn’t get through her story as tears soon flowed down her cheeks and her voice caught. Someone next to her reached into her purse for a tissue and handed it to her. Time had not diminished her emotions.

–And just two nights ago, I watched a moving special on PBS Hawaii about what Franklin D. Roosevelt called “the date which will live in infamy.” Remember Pearl Harbor included recent interviews with some of those who lived through that experience.

Kendra and I have talked about all of this today. The attack on Pearl Harbor, the declaration of war, and the entire World War II changed not only those who lived through that time but also the generations who came later. Kendra and I want to thank all the men and women who helped bring that war to a successful conclusion. And although we have focused our research and writing on the daughters of the Rosie the Riveter, we want to reach out and thank everyone from the war generation for their strength and courage.

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