Saturday, December 7, 2013

The infamous day of Dec. 7, 1941

Oil, 2-9 quarts each day, still seeps from the USS Arizona Memorial, an eerie and solemn reminder of the rusting, sunken battleship where 1,177 sailors and marines were instantly killed on the "day that will live in infamy" – President Roosevelt's description of the surprise attack by a Japanese Strike Force in airplanes and midget submarines on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, that began at 7:55 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941.

More than 60 years later as I interviewed Japanese Americans for the book, Minidoka: An American Concentration Camp, it seemed that every person who lived through that day could still remember exactly where they were and what they were doing. Mitsuye Yamada, a young adult then, wrote a compelling first person essay for the book and shared some her memories of Dec. 7, 1941, what happened to her father, and the time her family spent in Idaho's Minidoka War Relocation Center. 

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