I GREW UP in a working class neighborhood where half of the grown men had worn a uniform in the 1940s. Because of the stories they shared, I learned to associate the 7th of December with Pearl Harbor. In the 80s, I got several opportunities to remain overnight in bungalows alongside the harbor channel. I could sit outside the bungalow and watch the submarines set sail towards the Pacific Ocean. I haven't seen a submarine since moving to Ireland in 1994. Those boats helped Japan, an island nation, make its claim for unfettered trade. When other nations interfered with that trade, the Japanese felt they had to lash out and protect their lines of communication. Some of this rationalisation appears in the excellent DVD created by National Geographic. It's time to watch that DVD again, and to open At Dawn We Slept (889 pages) for a careful and measured perspective of what will always be a day to remember.
National Geographic offers multimedia treatment of America's "day of infamy" and sells a DVD of the story for $25.
Gordon William Prange, Donald M. Goldstein, Katherine V. Dillon -- At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor ISBN 0140157344