Although I was not born when Pearl Harbor was attacked, and my family lived in Germany during my childhood, there is an incredible bond between us. You see, I am fortunate enough to have lived in Hawaii about 26 years of my adult life -- on and off -- and is one of my two permanent homes. The other one is California.
The Rothwell family, the family of my former late husband, who came to the Hawaiian Islands back in the mid-1800s from England, were there during the Pearl Harbor attack. His sister, Mary Louise Rothwell, a Punahou student, wrote in her diary about the first few days after the attack. If you read this, note that Nelson was her brother, my husband. Mentioned are their two older brothers, Frank and Bob, who were in school on the mainland and were to remain there during the war.
And here is what was told to me by the elder Rothwells:
What was not mentioned in her account was that they lived on top of Pacific Heights and that their home had a panoramic view from Diamond Head to way past Pearl Harbor. When the attack happened, Nelson remembered going outside and watching the planes and the damage left behind.
Last year, on July 4th, I went with my daughter, her husband and my two grandsons to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. It is something that everyone should do when in Honolulu. We picnicked on the pier and later walked around the USS Missouri and watched the fireworks.