In 1941 we were surprised. How much do we even remember in 2006? The New York Times asks how well we will remember 9/11, given our national memory regarding Pearl Harbor…
Here’s a National Geographic contribution to the effort.
And here’s another:
“Hetrick spent most of the war aboard the USS Saratoga, fighting in campaigns that included the battle of Iwo Jima, for which he earned a Purple Heart. One night, he and his ship survived five kamikaze attacks.
“After the war, he joined the Air Force, where he served for 20 years. He retired as a master sergeant and moved his family to central California, where he became a farm labor contractor.
“His children knew their father was an Arizona survivor, but the depth of responsibility that came with that was something they didn’t quite understand, said youngest son Bob Hetrick, a 43-year-old butcher-turned-information technology student from Las Vegas.
“My whole life I grew up being the son of an Arizona survivor and for a lot of years, I didn’t know what it meant,” he said. “We went to parades, but I didn’t understand what it meant until my 20s, that surviving the Arizona was a big deal.”