Remembering Pearl Harbor with a Special Webinar
On Friday, the Museum hosted a webinar for students and teachers across the country to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Through exploring maps and artifacts, students learned about the global factors that lead to the attack, the Japanese surprise strategy, and how the US mobilized to fight and produce war materials in the months and years following “the day of infamy.”
The students also had the special opportunity to virtually meet Graham Salisbury, author of Under the Blood-Red Sun and numerous other young adult novels about the Hawaiian Japanese-American experience during the war. Under the Blood-Red Sun follows the Nakaji family and their 13-year-old son, Tomi, as they struggle with deep-seated prejudices in Hawaii after the attack. In the weeks preceding the program, many students read the book with their classmates. They asked questions of the author about the novel, his process as a writer, and the enduring messages of all of his books.
Students were particularly interested to hear what motivated Graham to write about the attack on Pearl Harbor and if he drew from his life as inspiration. Graham’s father was an ensign for the Navy stationed at Pearl Harbor and was about to head to church as he saw Japanese planes in the sky. His father survived the events of December 7th, 1941, only to lose his life on Graham’s first birthday as a fighter pilot attached to the USS Essex in the South Pacific. Stories like these remind students that the war changed the lives of millions and affected families and kids their age across the country. Through interpreting historical fiction and interacting with the author, students connect with WWII history in a personal and meaningful way.
Missed the webinar? It is available to watch until the end of December. Be sure to mark your calendars for our next webinar with Robert Edsel, author of the book-turned-major motion picture The Monuments Men, in January 2014! Post by Chrissy Gregg, Virtual Classroom Coordinator