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Pearl Harbor Memories

Updated on July 6, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia finds people's memories of great events important to save. She's collected them from friends, family, and fellow writers.

Some of the Destruction from the Attack on Pearl Harbor


Keeping the Memories of Pearl Harbor Alive

Every December 7th, on Pearl Harbor Day, Americans remember that dreadful attack. 1941 was almost 80 years ago, so fewer and fewer have first-hand memories of the event.

Many remember it now from stories told to them by their parents or grandparents. There are movies and documentaries that keep the event vivid in the current generations even though World War II starts to seem like ancient history.

I contacted my friends and fellow writers to see what memories they had. My mother and her sister shared their memories when I asked.

Featured Memories of Pearl Harbor (by Carol Garriott)

I was 7 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked; Mother and Daddy were listening to the radio. I didn't understand exactly what had happened, but somebody, I didn't know who (the "Japanese"? Did they live in KS?) had done something really, really bad to Americans. I was very scared, and went out, got my cat, went to my bedroom, and got under the bed. I was afraid they were coming to our house.

CJ Garriott with Her Kittens (Read Her Pearl Harbor Memory Above)

This is little CJ about 4 years before Pearl Harbor. She would be about 3 here, and at the time of the event, was 7 years old.
This is little CJ about 4 years before Pearl Harbor. She would be about 3 here, and at the time of the event, was 7 years old. | Source

Pearl Harbor Survivors, in Their Nineties, Share Their Memories

DECEMBER 7, 1941 - First-Hand Memories

Joan4 - This was before I was born, but my husband remembers it. He was a little fellow but was impressed with all the fear and emotion.

Nancy Carol Brown Hardin - I was just born in 1939, but I remember those two words vividly, "Pearl Harbor," and that they seemed to cause a lot of pain and anger in the grownups around me.

Many Americans Heard the News of the Pearl Harbor Attack on Their Radio

Photo taken at the WWII museum in Wolfboro, NH.
Photo taken at the WWII museum in Wolfboro, NH. | Source

My dad said he was lying on the floor listening to the radio with his dad when they heard the news.

— Michae

Parents and Grandparents Passed Their Memories of Pearl Harbor Down to the Next Generation

Mary Beth Granger - I wasn't born yet at that time, but I remember my parents saying they were in a movie theater when the announcement came.

victoriuh - During the attack, my grandmother and my father (age 1) were flying to Hawaii when the plane was ordered to turn around. Eerie...

Ann Hinds from So Cal - I wasn't born then but this made a big impression on my parents. When December 7th comes around each year, we share the importance of the day with our child, just as it was shared with us. This important day in history is being lost as the survivors dwindle. This was a real fight for our freedom.

Coreena Jolene - Before my time, but have heard many stories from my parents. Got to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial. Every American should try and visit if they go to Hawaii. It is a lifetime experience.

NHgal LM - My parents were married on December 5, 1941, and the Pearl Harbor attack happened two days later.

My Mother Shared Her Memories of Pearl Harbor

Gail Lee McGhee was in her senior year of high school when Pearl Harbor happened. I've posted her memories on her blog.
Gail Lee McGhee was in her senior year of high school when Pearl Harbor happened. I've posted her memories on her blog. | Source

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