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–by Joanna Hallac

Last year, to commemorate the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, I wrote a post about FDR’s famous “Date Which Will Live in Infamy” speech that he delivered on December 8, 1941 before a Joint Session of Congress asking for a declaration of war against Japan. If you haven’t already, you can read that post here.

This year, I would like to direct you to an article published in the Washington Post by a woman reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin at the time of the bombing, Betty McIntosh, who wrote an account of the events she witnessed and experienced on December 7, 1941, but that her editors never ran due to concerns over how its graphic portrayal would impact readers. For the first time since she wrote it seventy-one years ago, Betty McIntosh’s piece appears in the Post today. As I was reading it, I could envision all that she was seeing and feeling as she described the harrowing experience and made an appeal to the women of Hawaii to be prepared for the possibly long haul of war that was ahead of them. It’s a truly amazing account and I encourage all of you to read it.

The attacks on Pearl Harbor and the ensuing Second World War were dark times for our country, but ultimately ones that brought about much patriotism, unity and sacrifice throughout all corners of the country in a way that simply doesn’t happen anymore with a volunteer army and improved technology, which allow for very few Americans to have to bear the burden of war. No matter what conflict or manner in which members of our military have served before or continue to serve today, however, their sacrifices and those of their families are celebrated and appreciated now and always.

Lastly, I just wanted to take a quick moment to say farewell, as this is my last day at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and therefore my last blog post. I may reappear here or there as a guest blogger, but for the most part, my days of blogging about history for USCHS are over. I have loved working for this outstanding organization and hope the readership of this blog continues to grow over time…I know I’ll be following it to keep up on all things Capitol history-related. Happy holidays, everyone, and thanks for reading!