Pearl Harbor Remembered

I remember September 11, 2001 pretty vividly. I was student teaching at a small rural school in North Carolina. Parents started showing up to check their children out, a lot of them. The local sheriff’s department showed up and parked at the front door, not in the parking lot, but at the door. Sometime late morning the principal came to the door and asked to speak to the regular teacher in the hall, when she came back in her face was ashen.

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I expect that 79 years ago when Sunday afternoon football games were interrupted (around 2:30pm EST) on the radio with a news bulletin that people reacted much the same way.

“Alright now, listen carefully.  The island of Oahu is being attacked by enemy planes.  The center of this attack is Pearl Harbor, but the planes are attacking airfields as well.  We are under attack.  There seems to be no doubt about it.  Do not go out on the streets. Keep under cover and keep calm.  Some of you may think that this is just another military maneuver.  This is not a maneuver.  This is the real McCoy!” 

                                                Webley Edwards, KGMB, Honolulu

Of course the nature of news was very different. It would take some days before photos from Pearl Harbor made the front page of eastern news papers-several more before movie reel news footage made the big screen. The temper and outrage of the nation must have been palpable everywhere, much like after 9/11. Men and boys flooded recruiters, signing up for service. American changed, overnight, and forever. You can take a few minutes and listen to Franklin D Roosevelt’s address on December 8th here:

Ideas for Honoring Pearl Harbor

Today we took time to remember Pearl Harbor, and like many of our homeschool adventures we used food to help reinforce that experience.  The US Pacific Fleet, in partnering with the National Park Services host the annual Pearl Harbor Day memorial service on the USS Arizona Memorial. This year they offered it virtually, live streaming the event starting at 1255am EST, 755am local, matching the Japanese attack time 79 years earlier. Before watching we ate a traditional Navy meal, Creamed Sliced Beef on Toast.

Sailors, always want to exaggerate and create a lingo of their own, have a more colorful name for this dish. Which reminds me of a funny story: several years ago, my eldest son, probably nine at the time, wanted to read Boys of the Battleship, a series of stories about the men who served on the USS North Carolina, a World War II battleship that saw extensive combat in the Pacific. One morning at breakfast he asks if we can have, “s*** on a shingle” sometime. You see, my husband had gone ahead of him and done a little editing in the book to omit the occasional foul word, apparently he missed this one…embarrassed mom moment. To make it worse, my mother-in-law was visiting at the time. We all laughed about it later, but it became a motivating factor for my husband to write Heroes Next Door

If you want to try navy’s original recipe, you can find it and see a cool little cooking demonstration here: We adapted a little, and used fresh milk instead of powdered of mechanical cow milk. Never heard of a mechanical cow? That’s a post for another day. To round out our meal we used the following recipes: limas, page 289, baked apples page 88, Creamed Sliced Dried Beef, page 148.

Final Thoughts

I pray that my children never have to experience a December 7, or September 11 type event. I do believe it is very important to remember that those kinds of things do happen and that we should take time to understand how those events have shaped the world around us.  How do you honor and remember those important historical dates in your homeschool?

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