When the news came over the radio to all parts of America, most people had no idea where it was, what was there, and many were not really sure where Hawaii was. Thomas Merton, in his earliest autobiographical writing, remembered walking down a nearly-deserted New York city street and hearing the same radio news from one open window after another; that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Every radio tuned into the same station; one uncompleted sentence would be carried on from the next window he passed.
This was Pearl Harbor. A safe berth, tucked away from Pacific storms and waves, the big destroyers neatly lined up. This picture taken October of 1941.
And so this precipitated my father into war, and many fathers, brothers, other relatives into a world-wide conflict. HIs war ended after he made it through the battle of Iwo Jima, on board the U.S.S. Finnegan, and in ’45 at the surrender of Japan wrote to my mother — from some unnamed harbor (Navy censors)— about a British band playing, yelling, cheering loudly as they walked around the streets, celebrating, everybody celebrating with them.