Two years ago, we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sadly, I was unable to attend this monumental event in person. (It is on the top of my bucket list to actually be able to go to Pearl Harbor during an anniversary celebration). However, I was able to watch a bit of the live streaming of the event via the National World War II Museum website (I would have watched more of it live but I had to run to class but I did finish it later that day).
In honor of this anniversary, Tim Gray at World War II Foundation filmed a documentary narrated by actor Tom Selleck. During this anniversary year, a very significant book was published. This book was All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton, a survivor of not only the attack but also a survivor of the USS Arizona which was sadly sunk by Japanese torpedoes on December 7th, 1941. This book is significant because it is the first book to be written by a Pearl Harbor survivor.
Additionally, another book was published to honor this anniversary. This one is called A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor Betrayal, Blame, and A Family’s Quest for Justice. This book is not written by a survivor. However, it tells the story of Admiral Husband Kimmel, who was Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet in December of 1941 and how he was relieved of his duty after the Japanese attack because the United States government believed it was his fault. As the title suggests, it talks about how Kimmel’s sons and later grandchildren have fought to show that it was not Admiral Kimmel’s fault.
When this book came out I was very excited and was eager to buy it. Sadly, it was rather expensive so I waited. Just like I waited for Donald Stratton’s book. Luckily, for that one, my local library had ordered and I could read it (and then I later purchased my own copy). As for Kimmel’s story, either library near me still does not carry it. So I decided to purchase it now that it is cheaper on Amazon than at Barnes and Noble. I have yet to read it but I look forward to reading it soon.
Fast forward to the following year, in honor of the attack, another Pearl Harbor survivor published a memoir of his life and his memory of the attack. This survivor is Lauren Bruner who also served on board the USS Arizona. The title of the book is called Second to Last to Leave USS Arizona. I have yet to read this book. I am so tempted to buy but it is still expensive.
I looked at the inside cover of it where publishers put the words from those who endorsed the book. One of the endorsers is a young woman named Jessie Higa. By her name it says that she is a Pre-WWII and December 7 1941 historian.
How does one become a December 7 1941 historian?