(click to enlarge photo)After more than ten years of interacting with the Survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, one thing continues to keep pushing me forward with this project… the quite-real and recurring sense that the Good Lord above has placed this calling in my path.
Otherwise seemingly mundane photographs, stories and anecdotes witnessed, upon further reflection, hold in them strange ironies and historical coincidences that invariably leave me with a sense of awe and wonderment if indeed it truly was I who pushed the button on the camera or God Himself.
Similar to the words within the title of this book, Pearls of Honor: Their Duty to Remember, from its inception, I have hoped to show with great clarity and example how the Survivors carry with them what most Americans believe are those long lost virtues such as Honor, Duty, Fidelity, Truth, Loyalty, Honesty, Courage, Heroism, Devotion, Humility, Integrity, Knowledge, Love, Perseverance, Piety, Selflessness, Thankfulness, Trust, Wisdom.
Most Americans know how, most-profoundly in the 1960’s, a large portion of the population began to publicly berate, besmirch, belittle, demean, ridicule and or otherwise show great contempt for anything in popular culture that even remotely touched upon or aspired to, classical virtues.
Anyone suggesting that such virtues should be held out as goals for not only our young, but for all citizens was, and in many arenas still is, held out for public derision.
The Pearl Harbor Survivors are one of the few last remaining public examples for our young people to look up to and actually see such virtue not only in words, but in action.
Likewise, it seems as though God once again over the last few months, wished to ensure that I had a constant reminder of the antithesis of such virtues. He wanted me to have, and has given me, a daily reminder of the pain and anguish that such callous and arrogant disregard for such virtues can bring to a society… so that hopefully, my words in this upcoming book can tell future generations how truly honorable these “Pearls of Honor” have been… and how they, with great fidelity and loyalty carried out “Their Duty to Remember.”
Hopefully, the stories and images of these true American heroes will provide at least one small example of what virtues are and the corresponding dignity that comes to those who aspire to them.