Lesson from past serves as warning for the future

Written by Dave Delozier, 9News

CENTENNIAL – Black and white photographs bring back the memories. In her home at Holly Creek Retirement Community Daphne Lovelace looks at scrapbooks with photos of a 15 year old girl. They are photos of Lovelace taken during a moment of American history.

She was a witness to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

On December 7, 1941 Lovelace and her sister were walking to church to attend Sunday school.

“All of a sudden there was a plane showing the big rising sun on it and we heard boom, boom, boom, boom,” Lovelace recalled.

Shortly after dawn on that day the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor. 353 Japanese planes bombed the U.S. battleships at Pearl Harbor and planes at Hickam Air Force Base. Before the attack was over more than 2,300 Americans had died.

Lovelace’s Uncle worked as an engineer on a battleship at Pearl Harbor.

“He just wept when he saw all of those ships going down,” Lovelace said.

The attack plunged the United States into World War II. Lovelace eventually joined the Honolulu Volunteer Corps as a radio operator.

“I was trying to help however I could,” Lovelace said.

In the days following the attack Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps. Lovelace watched as some her friends were rounded up and sent to an internment camp.

“I went to school with them, but they got there and took them out to the desert in Arizona,” Lovelace said.

When the war ended Lovelace married her husband, a U.S. soldier who served in the South Pacific.

Over the years she has spent time speaking to children at schools.

“So we kind of convey it to the children that every time there was a war we went over there, but this time they came here,” Lovelace said.

She reminds younger generations of the importance of being vigilant and defending our country.

“I want them to realize that war is not simple,” Lovelace said.


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