Those of us of age recently remembered where we were at the moment we heard the news of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. Before that shocking day, I remember older people telling me where they were when they heard the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, 911 since has been added to the list of dark days remembered. But I do not want to overlook Pearl Harbor Day, today – “a date,” said President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “which will live in infamy.”
This brass vase, brought home by my grandfather from his missionary days in 1930s China, reminds me of Pearl Harbor. Far, as we called him, was listening to the radio in the basement of the white house on Main Street in Granville, Ohio, when the news came. He rested his pipes in this vase. I’m sure it was near him on Dec. 7, 1941. It’s hard to imagine horror streaking his kindly face, but I’m guessing that’s what happened when the basement radio crackled that morning with the report of the Japanese attack.