Seventy-one years ago America was attacked on its home soil for the first time in its history when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Dec. 7, 2012 has gone down in history as the day American joined the Allies in World War II, but many seem to have forgotten that tragic day.
The term “Pearl Harbor” was not a trending topic on MSN or Yahoo News, and it seemed that one of the only places the term could be found was on Twitter.
Being a journalist who typically works the night shift, I assumed that one of my colleagues had written about Pearl Harbor by the time I made my way into the office, but when I checked our records for the day, an article about Pearl Harbor was no where to be found.
That’s why it’s so important that Pearl Harbor survivor -- Elizabeth “Betty” McIntosh (who is now 97 and “sharp as a whip”) -- was able to publish an article that she wrote seven days after the attack.
At the time, McIntosh was a reporter working for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. After experiencing the gruesome attack, she wanted to inform the women of Hawaii about what lie ahead.
McIntosh wanted to ease the anxiety that stirred from rumors, blackouts and fear about what the future would bring to Hawaiians, but her editors thought the graphic content would upset the readers.
The Washington Post published her report 71 years later, and the following is a few clips she wrote.
“For seven ghastly, confused days, we have been at war. To the women of Hawaii, it has meant a total disruption of home life, a sudden acclimation to blackout nights, terrifying rumors, fear of the unknown as planes drone overhead and lorries shriek through the streets,” she started.
“I have a story to tell, as a reporter, that I think the women of Hawaii should hear.”
“For the first time, I felt that numb terror that all of London has known for months. It is the terror of not being able to do anything but fall on your stomach and hope the bomb won’t land on you."
McIntosh said she was assigned by the newspaper to write about what was happening in the local hospital’s emergency room.
“There was blood and the fear of death — and death itself — in the emergency room as doctors calmly continued to treat the victims of this new war.”
“I had never known that blood could be so bright red.”
As husbands and sons ran off to help the military, the women were left at home to do nothing except sit and wait, but McIntosh said that’s when she knew what the women of Hawaii could do, instead of anxiously listening to the radio.
"There is job a for every woman in Hawaii to do," she wrote. "I discovered that when I visited the Red Cross centers, canteens, evacuee districts, the motor corps headquarters.
“There is great organization in Honolulu, mapped out thoughtfully and competently by women who have had experience in World War I, who have looked ahead and foreseen the carnage of the past seven days and planned.”
The Washington Post noted that after her journalism career, McIntosh worked in the Office of Strategic Services and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Never forget Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.