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Hawaii's History: Pearl Harbor & WWII

"Go for Broke" - 
the 442nd

Ships of Pearl Harbor

Personal Accounts 
& Books & Videos

Pearl Harbor: 
A Critical Past

Honolulu's Sister City


Pearl Harbor (2001)
DVD preorder: 12/4/01 


Pearl Harbor

In Hawai`i, on the Island of O`ahu, we have a constant reminder of a day in December of 1941 when early Sunday morning peace was shattered by the attack of Japanese planes on the U.S. Pacific Fleet and other military installations on the island. All Americans were forever changed by the entry of the United States into World War II; however, Hawai`i remains the only part of the U.S. that has seen war up close and personal by an attack of such magnitude from a foreign power.

The USS Arizona Memorial is our most visited "attraction" year after year and there is a wealth of information online to learn more about the memorial and all of the ships that were present in Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park are located next to the Arizona and the USS Missouri Battleship Museum is a short distance away. Online resources for each are linked from the Pearl Harbor & WWII history page.

Much of the literature deals with the attack, events leading up to it, and the many battles in the Pacific during the war. The civilian stories have also been told, though not as widely publicized. Some of these are linked on the Personal Accounts: Books & Videos page. A small selection of books and videos that are available online, both fiction and nonfiction,  is included.

The war years were difficult times in the islands, especially for the thousands of residents of Japanese ancestry. Though a very small percentage were interned, all felt the distrust of neighbors and friends. The Nisei, second generation and American by birth, joined a regiment consisting solely of Japanese-American soldiers, many to prove their loyalty and valor.  Learn more about them on the page dedicated to the 442nd: Going for Broke.

This body of water has cultural and historical importance that predates the Japanese attack, however. See Pearl Harbor: A Critical Past for more background on the significance of the harbor through time.   We should remember the horror of war, no question, for this may help us to prevent these horrors in the future.  We also should remember those things that bring us back together again. The significance of Honolulu and Hiroshima as sister cities should not be missed by the rest of the world, for a very special bond is shared.

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