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Saturday, December 31, 2011 6 comments

Special Edition: You Know you're a Parent when...

aloha...well I didn't expect to be writing this post until at least sometime next year (tomorrow) but here I stand in a green hairnet and blue booties waiting to go back to the OR where my wife is having her third c-section..... My wife, Gen, started having contractions and when we arrived at the military hospital, they decided to admit her. I'll be updating this post often, or shooting quick updates via Twitter.....you can follow me at      #markjkoopmans

Update: No. 3 Son was born at about 3 p.m., weighing in at 8 pounds, 0 ounces on New Year's Eve :)

Thanks to everyone who posted congrats and good wishes.... Mom and Son are doing well, and we appreciate your kind thoughts and words :)
Friday, December 23, 2011 6 comments

You Know You're A Parent When... (#3.1)


This one's easy....

You Know You're A Parent when...

It's two days before Christmas and it's 1:41 p.m. and all the wonderful plans you've made are still that, just plans!!!

Arrgh, therefore I am jumping on the "taking a break" bus and will be off until the first Monday of the New Year, when I will once again, hopefully,
no self-doubt, no self-doubt
blaze a path of humor and fun on the blogosphere of life, love and the pursuit of two little toddlers....

Ohh, wait.... No.3 Son will be born soon... so watch this space for updates!!

(I'm on Twitter: #markjkoopmans and will be tweeting normal stuff like.... "Help! Help! What do I do now....oh my gosh, that's so stinky..."

Waikiki Beach -
 Dec. 27, 2011
For now, my family and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas (or Hanukkah) and I wish us all a successful New Year in life and writing.

Let's "delve into '12" and get 'er done!
Thursday, December 22, 2011 12 comments

Seft-Doubt. I *Think* I'm Good - How 'bout You?


Ever trashed or deleted a piece of work you later wished was recoverable?

Haven’t we all…

Is there a literary love of your life that’s never seen the light?

Sshhh, mine’s in the black, steel filing cabinet… I remove the half-finished manuscript several times a year to caress and yearn over the fading pages like I was Gollum with the RingJ
It's mine, it's mine!

So, after spending hours, days, months and even years on a writing project or manuscript, why do we do this to ourselves?

For me, at least, the main reason I’ve gone there on multiple occasions

it’s a large filing cabinet

is one hundred percent due to self-doubt.


Such a mean word. Even though I knew how to spell it, I still did a spell-check to make sure the hyphen is used.

Webster’s Online Dictionary lists self-doubt as “lack of self confidence” and for various reasons I spent a few years – a few years ago – mired in a lack of self confidence.

It was only after I pulled those infamous boot straps up and fought for my first writing gig in 2003 that I later woke up with a magazine by my side and a smidgen of self confidence in my head.

Later, when I saw my name in the local newspaper

with no court date attached

I baby-stepped my way to a confident corner.

That is, until one day, while gainfully employed as a Staff Reporter working on a deadline that I realized the words on the page were just crap.

Pure, unadulterated, shoot

my interview was weak, the feature was off-point and I knew my editor would kill me.

So I did the adult thing: I deleted everything and stormed off to bed.

Next day, I thought I could salvage said deletion, but it was gone.

This is about when I discovered that this writing thing isn’t as easy as they say.

OK then smarty-pants, so how do you get over your self-doubts now?

Oh, how I wish I could offer the solution to your self-doubts. But, if I could, I wouldn’t be a writer, I’d be some sort of late-night television infomercial dude wearing a blue polo shirt, sharing how *you* too can enjoy the painless cure to self-doubt for only 237 easy payments of $19.95 (plus a 25-year lien on your abode to cover our low-cost shipping, processing and express handling.)

BUT WAIT!! Read on, I’ll share what’s working for me… and that’s pricelessJ

If you’ve checked out any of my other posts, you’ll see I tend to write with an alleged sprinkling of humor.

Good grief… how can you write about ridding self-doubt and then turn around to say your writing is “allegedly” funny…

Oh, yes, ahem. So I’m a fantastically talented and funny writer of humor

Dude, seriously….

Sorry, I’m not used to giving advice, so mahalo for bearing with me.

Indeed, it was only this week that I finally figured out – for me – a rock solid way of demolishing the doubts.

For the very first time, my wife read one of my posts out loud – while I was in the same room.

Don’t ask me why this hasn’t happened before – but it hasn’t, and oh my gosh…. It was so awesome to hear her – and Uncle Jerry – laughing about our efforts to build a gingerbread house.

The second way was more internal. The more I post, the more my views grow, which leads to more comments.

Comments from readers who are not related to me.

Comments from readers whom I’ve never met, and who live in other continents.

Comments from folks who’ve said they’ve been looking forward to reading my latest post.

Seriously? Really?


Sure I’m not a published author


 but I’m a better writer than before I started blogging – and that’s my point.

As 2011 ends, so does my self-doubt. I am a good writer, working to become a great writer.

My Write History
How about you?

With about a week left in the year, why not take a look inwards. Is there a Gollum hiding in your workroom?

Do you read email, check Facebook or view the weather in your hometown before settling down to write?

What self-doubts might be holding you back?

Monday, December 19, 2011 11 comments

(MAM #1) The Gingerbread Guys

Welcome to MAM #1 (or the first Mood-Altering Monday post) but, hang on, now I’m a dad writing about MAMs… this is going to get confusing…
Anyhow, the point is I hope to add a smile to the beginning of your working/writing week (even though you’ll probably be reading this on a Tuesday this week…sigh!)

Recently, I attended a Christmas party arranged by a wonderful, local homeschooling group called Oahu MHEN, pronounced “men.”

(OK, so now I’m writing a MAM as a Dad at a MHEN party, mostly attended by Moms… see, I knew I’d confuse him :)

There were about 180 people there, and we boys, we band of decorators consisting of No. 1 and 2 Sons, myself and special guest star, Uncle Jerry; we were the only all-male team present for the event’s main challenge: Decorating The Gingerbread House, and boy, were we pumped up!
(OK, maybe we were more worried than pumped up, but how hard could it be to decorate a gingerbread house?)

I soon discovered that neither Jerry nor I had ever built a gingerbread (GB) house in either of our misspent youths, so this would be a first. However, I remained positive - sure it was new, but we had HEART – and the closest table to the exit...

As the afternoon progressed, it turned out that heart was about all we had…

You see, the ladies in charge ("Party Divas") had arranged for each family to receive a box, and inside was a veritable treasure trove of all things holy to a gingerbread house maker.

We were designated Table 22, and, as mentioned, we placed ourselves at the very end of one of three, looonng tables and we were ready to decorate an A-frame within the thirty-minute timeframe.

Table 21 greeted us with open arms, and offered any assistance we required. We thanked the friendly family, and got down to business – examining the contents of the GB box.
Being a manly man, the first thing I did was look at the complicated instruction manual – and promptly discard it to one side
along with its many pages of easy to follow tips…
To his credit, Jerry did try figure out said manual, but soon gave up under my withering stare of “We’re guys, are you really going to read that?”

Losing the head...
Arranging all the ingredients on the plastic-lined table, I noted there were two bags of green and white icing, small candies, square candies, round candies, one naked gingerbread slum and four, large gingerbread guys.

Fabulous… I’d forgotten the snack bag. Suddenly, there were only 2.5 GB guys – one was sacrificed in the name of lunch, and the other later lost his head in an argument with No. 2 Son.
Our first plan of action was for (most of us) to attack the poor gingerbread house with absolutely no rhyme or reason.

Sticky Fingers
No. 1 Son, however, decided to take on an additional project (a la Extreme Home Makeover) and he spent ten minutes working hard to see just how much icing would stick to his hands before the digits disappeared.

Seeing how inefficient this first plan was, we moved to Plan B, which was to sneak a peek at House No.21 and then copy some of their best ideas.

Plan B was as organized as Plan A, (except we were down a bag of icing) resulting in a terrible accident when one of the remaining GB guys couldn’t take it any longer and threw himself off the side of the house.
 Needless to say, we placed 48th out of 48 (BOO-YAH!!) 
(Oh yeah, we’re hip, we’re cool, we're in the Top Fifty :)

While we weren’t the winners of the grand prize – or any other prize – in the general vote, several moms mentioned later that if there was a “Messiest” or a “Sympathy Vote” award, we would have been a lock.
Oh, yes, that was so messy, it was worthy of an award…

Notice how our "slum" *should* have looked!
PS…. The funny thing is that even though Jerry and I were suspended from all Man-Card activities for a week, we both really enjoyed ourselves; the kids had a blast, and we’re coming back in ‘12 to take home the First Annual Messiest Gingerbread House Award.
Friday, December 16, 2011 7 comments

(YKW...#3) You Know You're A Parent When...


Here’s the third, weekly installment of You Know You’re A Parent When… (YKW…). (If curious, the first two are here and here.)

You know You’re A Parent When…

Papa? Why doesn't your book make flushing noises?
·         Your favorite book was Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane, but now it’s Potty Time With Elmo by someone over at Sesame Street.

·         You’re in the kitchen and after cutting an orange for your four-year-old, you hand it to No. 1 Son who looks at the eight segments and stops to say “You’re a chef, Papa!” These four words result in you swaggering around the kitchen for more than an hour creating orange-based dishes (Spam a la Orange) all the while shouting “Bam!” like you’re Emeril on steroids.

·         At a homeschooling event, a child pops up out of nowhere to warn that the shoes of No. 1 Son are on the wrong way. Jumping in your seat, you squeak a less-than-manly “agggh!” before conspiratorially leaning over to whisper with a knowing look.

“My little guy is still learning how to do stuff like putting his shoes on, but thanks for telling me.”

The older child nods knowingly and wanders off, his job done here.

Wrong way, Papa!
Bending to fix the shoes of No. 1 Son, you think back to when the shoes went on… which is when you realize you put them on…


You’re in an elevator when No. 1 Son, who’s sitting in a shopping cart, introduces the family to a pair of strangers sharing the ride.

“This is Mama,” he proudly says, oblivious to the adults who awkwardly nod and smile at each other before looking toward the digital display to see if we’re there yet.

“This is No. 2 Son... and this,” a flourish of the hand toward you, “this is my friend.”


Later, as children are scooped up in preparation for bath and bed time, No. 1 Son burrows into your shoulder and says “I love the new house… and I like you, Papa.”

Hmm, from “friend” to “I like you, Papa” in a day… I suppose that’s a promotion, right?

·         And where would we be without a guest appearance by the Lucky Charms. Only this week, the cereal that keeps on giving has met its match.


Following weeks of flying marshmallows, you hand a new breakfast item to No. 2 Son and stand back at a safe distance to see what happens…
No. 2 Son looks at the new offering, takes a small bite, then another and you regain the ability to breathe.

Then, the Curse of the Lucky Charms strikes again!

Your 21-month-old lets out a roar and chucks his now-former breakfast off the side of the high chair. Sighing, you reach for the “Lucky Charms pan” (it used to be called a “dustpan," but whatever) and bend to clean the discarded dish.

But wait... what’s this… Instead of several hundred pieces, there’s just one large chunk.

Huh? What is this truly magically delicious item?

Cleaning is a snap and in wonder, you wander to the kitchen to read more about this thing called “BREAD.”
Wonder Bread?

And finally, you know you’re (going to be) a parent (again) when your beautiful, pregnant wife grabs the keys and decides at 9 p.m. that she wants “something simple to eat.”

Oh oh…

Driving to the little mall that could, there are four options including such fine dining establishments as “Taco Bell,” “Jack in the Box” and the one you should have bought shares in when No. 1 Son was born: “McDonalds.”

After driving by each of the afore mentioned restaurants, and feeling like a menu board stalker, (your wife’s driving,) the final decision is made: Jack in the Box.

Great, that was easy…

We order, pay the cashier and prepare to drive home.

…and then she sees Taco Bell….

We order, pay the cashier and prepare to drive home.

…and then she sees Jack in the Box… again…

We order, pay the cashier and prepare to drive home – but not before I smile and throw a reassuring wave at the worried cashier, who having served us twice in five minutes, seems about ready to press the alarm.

Making it home


my beloved wife decides she only wants Taco Bell.

Who’s going to eat the Jack in the Box food – the one we drove through twice? Not me, I’m not hungry….

“Please, I don’t want this anymore, but I don’t want the food to go to waste…please?”

And that’s how, at 9:30 on a Thursday evening, you sit down to eat a nourishing meal consisting of a double cheeseburger, curly fries and two cheesy sticks…

Uuhh, my tummy still hurts…
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 8 comments

(WW#1) Walking Through History - Remembering Pearl Harbor

Welcome to the inaugural Writer’s Wednesday. This post was meant to out earlier in the week, so my apologies…


After walking through, by or next to some of its many historical sites, I wanted to share some pictures and thoughts about Dec. 7, the 70th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

Now called Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the former Pearl Harbor Naval Base is always a hub of activity, but throughout the day last Wednesday, the energy felt muted as all over the base, ships and shore activities displayed flags at half-mast from 8 a.m. until sunset.

For me, one of many goose-bump moments occurred at 7:55 a.m., the moment when the attacks began. Looking outside my window, I heard the F-22’s from the Hawaii National Guard fly the missing-man formation over the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
70 years later, a full rainbow at the exact moment of the attacks...

While I couldn’t see the planes from several
miles away, I did see this full rainbow right above where many of the commemorative events would be held…

Signal flags flying from the USS Missouri
Interestingly, as was done following the original attack, from their outboard #2 halyard, all ships displayed a set of signal flags that included Pennant Zero, First Sub, Tango, Victor and Golf, which translated to “All Ships, Well Done,” according to information from the base’s public affairs office.

Two of the many scheduled events surrounding the 70th anniversary, were arranged as tributes to several former sailors who had made one final request of their former boss
During the day “that will live on in infamy,” U.S. Navy divers interred the remains of Vernon Olsen, 91, of Port Charlotte, Fla. aboard the USS Arizona (BB-39).
Mr. Olsen served on the battleship that is now the tomb of more than 1,000 men who died in the attack.

A wreath stands watch over the hulk of the USS Utah
The remains of 90-year-old Lee Soucy, of Plainview, Texas, were carried December 6 by divers to the USS Utah (BB-31) a brown, hulking wreck that rests only yards from the edge of Ford Island.

Family members accompanied both men to the site of their final resting places.
In an interview with CNN, Soucy’s daughter, Mary McCormick, said, “I think it's pretty awesome that we are getting to do this.” 

Walking around the visitor center later that day, the scattering of people were outnumbered by the many stacks of folding chairs after a main ceremony that attracted thousands. It was my first visit, and to be there on the anniversary was incredibly special. Even the kids were quieter than normal.

Viewing the USS Arizona through one of its anchors

Wreaths were placed next to the dozen or so flagpoles, representing the ships destroyed or damaged in the attacks, including the USS Arizona and its memorial that sits on the other side of the harbor.

Lambert Mooder travelled from Arizona to the event and was part of the 120-strong delegation of Pearl Harbor Survivors who officially returned one last time. (Founded in 1958, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association plans to dissolve in about two weeks.)

A young sailor speaks to Lambert Mooder, a PH Survivor
Up at 4 a.m. (instead of his normal 6 a.m.) Mr. Mooder was in fine form hours after his official events were complete.
After shaking his hand, thanking him for his service, and welcoming him home, the old sailor smiled and said, with a twinkle in his eyes that he was glad to be back.

“Son, I’m just glad to still be above ground, and I thank God for that every day.”

Never Forgotten
Stray Bullet Holes on Ford Island
Historic Ford Island Control Tower (Under Renovation)
The "Mighty Mo" watches over the USS Oklahoma (BB-37)

Why They Fought...

Weekly Schedule Announcement


Thanks to the amazing support of my wife, and all the positive comments received in the past couple of weeks, I’m spreading my wings to add two weekly features.

Is *that* where Lucky Charms come from?

"Writer’s Wednesday," will be a Lucky Charms-free zone, and a place where I’ll try to be serious.

Today will be a recap/ photo essay of how it felt travelling around Pearl Harbor and Ford Island on the 70th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941 attacks.

I'll also post updates on my WIP, (Donald Braswell’s memoir) offer tips and advice; host interviews with other writer bloggers and share the awesomeness of Hawaii with y’all.
(If anyone is interested in guest posting or being interviewed, please drop me a line.)

(I *do* have big island plans for next week, Dec. 21, which is Winter Solstice…)

Beginning Dec. 19, “Mood-altering Mondays,” will be a happy place where most everyone* will receive a free chuckle**.

(*We are not responsible for lost or stolen senses of humor. Please check under the seat before you leave.)
We wish ours was as nice as this:)
(**If we don’t offer you a receipt for a FREE! smile, please let management know as your next guffaw will be FREE!)

Coming Monday: The Doppelganger Gingerbread House J

My “You Know You’re A Parent When…” series will continue to "air" every Friday as scheduled.
Monday, December 12, 2011 20 comments

A Growing Christmas

Dedicated to my wife, Gen, this is my entry to the Wrap It Up Blogfest. For details, see the button here>>> 

Aloha Sweethie,
Four score and seven years ago, we married amid love, life and laughter.
Actually, it was only seven years ago, but that “four score” thing has a nice ring...
Wait Until Double Rainbow Guy Sees This :)
We’ve celebrated Christmas in California, Florida, Texas, Rhode Island and now in Hawaii.
Ending Florida, we wondered if we’d ever have kids. But that December, April prayed, God blessed and No. 1 Son arrived at the beginning of Texas.
For several years, Christmas trees excitedly bought in December were sadly bagged in January, but how we celebrated every milestone of our little miracle.
Our blessings continued with the news you were expecting.
My first words….You’re pregnant? Oh my gosh? Really? WHaggghhhh…
I’d been cutting onions, you see.
“No. 1 Son” was for your mom and dad, but Baby?
A name! We need a name! My kingdom for a name!
Would dilemma follow delivery?
Ahh, Christmas with family and friends…
Names flew everywhere. Swept under rugs; squished over sinks, until “No. 2 Son” rose on breaking waves of “Ohhh, that’s a good one. I like that.”
Back home to Texas – where he was born.
Sweethie, do you remember, later…
No. 1 Son walking – not talking
Moving to Rhode Island
No. 2 Son walking – No. 1 Son talking
My new executive position: Stay-at-home Dad!
Christmas comes and goes. It’s spring again. You eat several jars of spicy cabbage, don’t like meat of any kind, and are a little
Oh oh.
Joking, I buy a 99 cent pregnancy test, but it’s you who comes out of the bathroom laughing.
Oh. My.
Christmas 2011 is here. You rest. We wait.
"There's Another One Coming"
Tobey waits for “Baby Brother.” No. 2 Son waits for Frosty Returns.
And, No. 3 Son? Will he be a Christmas baby, or one for the New Year?
Who knows? We pray for ten fingers and ten toes.
Friday, December 9, 2011 7 comments

(#2) You Know You're a Parent When...

Source: http://davidpowersking.blogspot.com/
I’ve the honor of guest posting at the blog of David Powers King today!
David is an experienced blogger and aspiring author of MG/YA Science Fiction and Fantasy with a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. Married with kids, David lives, plots, writes, and evolves in the great state of Utah.
I consider David a mentor, so after you’re finished here, please click the above link to his blog.
Mahalo in advance :) 


Here now is my second, weekly installment of You Know You’re A Parent When… (The first one's here.)

So, You know You’re A Parent When…
Young Writer of America
·          You go to Burger King where the kid's toy is some sort of ink pen... your son tells you this... but you are driving and don't want to be too distracted. "Yes, son..." is the answer before the squeal that happened after opening the side door - and not looking in the rear view mirror.

·         You're attending a freestyle music class, but can only cringe when your oldest asks the age of the teacher and wonders (aloud) why are her nails broken and her legs hairy  – during class.

·         After watching a now-empty Ziploc sandwich bag float to the ground, (special guest star) Uncle Jerry glances toward the living room (where someone carpet-bombed the floor with weird-looking Cheerios,) and suggests buying a Pez to dispense individual Lucky Charms marshmallows.
      I guffaw, but later, when a bag of Fruit Loops decorates the floor, sides and passengers of the red van, another Lucky Charms disaster comes to mind, and Pez dispensers start to sound like they’re Gr-r-reat.

Wow, they spread easy using this thing!
·         But, then again, you can cut out the middle man by chucking the other Ziploc bags of Lucky Charms on the ground, thus cutting out the short delay – and the desperate, but dashed hope that this time things will be different – and then thee youngest one upturns the bag anyway. (Ye olde sighe.)

·         You are so afraid to lose two, teenage Japanese exchange students entrusted to your care that you and the wife follow them at a safe distance, tagging off in the busy mall like you’re in the middle of some important, undercover stroller sting.)

·         Wandering bored around Target, (the exchange students continue to wander the outer aisles) you spot a large tray of travel-size, refill spray bottles. Instantly cheered, you buy a couple, happy now you’ve got new tools for the upcoming back yard water fight.

·         Your 21-month-old wanders over with a cushion held in front of his face. Heading for the nearest wall, he makes some monster-sounding noises and proceeds without any further adieu to bounce off the wall, then the couch and the ottoman, before shuffling and muttering into another room… You continue the ongoing conversation about Albert the Angel as if the extra-special guest appearance by “Bouncing Monster Boy” is a normal occurrence, (which sadly it is!)

· Your super-friendly, never, ever shy four-year-old has a chance to meet (and get an offered hug) from a Pearl Harbor Survivor – but all he wants to do is hide behind a bench, my legs, or in a small heap.) Not even reverse physiology works… “Tobey, you don’t have to shake his hand or say hi.” (The response is: “OK, Papa…”)
Sorry I'm shy, but mahalo for your service.

·         Meanwhile, done in with having to always clean all the non-Lucky Charm marshmallows, a plan is hatched! Standing in front of the sink; you take a colander and sift through a large box of Lucky Charms. Arranging the treasure trove of shooting stars and other “charms” that you know will impress the afore mentioned four-year-old and his brother, you happily watch as No.1 Son looks at the bag... then at you... picks up the bag as if it contained something yucky… looks back at you and demands to know where all the "brown bits" have gone?
     (Good grief, Charlie Brown :)
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 6 comments

70 Years Later, Pearl Harbor Never Forgets; is Never Forgotten

Today is the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.
Source: U.S. Naval Historical Archives
I live about ten minutes from historic Ford Island’s “Battleship Row,” and the final resting place of the USS Arizona, where 1,177 men died in attacks that killed more than 2,400 people.
Several commemorative events are planned throughout the island, and I hope to post more later.
For now, here are some pictures, and a few lesser-known details about “the day that will live on in infamy.”
Radio bulletin from Honolulu heard over WCAE (Pittsburgh, PA) at 4:15 p.m.  (Dec.7, 1941)
“We have witnessed this morning the attack of Pearl Harbor and a severe bombing of Pearl Harbor by army planes, undoubtedly Japanese. The city of Honolulu has also been attacked and considerable damage done. This battle has been going on for nearly three hours. One of the bombers dropped within 50 feet of (...???taunty-tower...?). Its no joke. It’s a real war.”
Source: 2008-2009 UMKC University Libraries
Resting Place - Japan did not limit its offensive to Pearl Harbor; on the same December day in 1941, they also attacked American forces in the Philippines. (Despite being notified of the assault on Pearl Harbor hours before Japanese forces attacked in the Philippines, Gen. Douglas MacArthur inexplicably failed to prepare his troops to respond.)
Photo by Bob Landry/TIME & LIFE Pictures
A closer look at the wreckage of the USS Arizona. The Navy, which was able to salvage an astonishing number of ships damaged or sunk by the Japanese, could not fully salvage the Arizona.
Today, the USS Arizona Memorial straddles the ship's sunken hull and commemorates the events of that long-ago Sunday. Of the 1,177 Arizona sailors killed that day, 1,102 have the ship as their final resting place.
Source: Yahoo.com

The USS Arizona Memorial today
Source: Mark Koopmans

Source: U.S. Naval Historical Archives


One of several USS Arizona memorial plaques on Nob Hill, a U.S. Navy historical residential community on Ford Island.
Source: Mark Koopmans
Source: Mark Koopmans

A second bronze plaque erected to commemorate the loss of life on the USS Arizona seventy years ago today.


Pearl Harbor veteran Robert Templet, who was a Radioman 1st Class at Ford Island during the attack, is pictured outside his home in Metairie, Louisiana Dec. 4, 2011.
Source: REUTERS/Lee Celano
Templet was walking to breakfast on Dec. 7, 1941, when he heard a plane motor surging at his back. He turned and saw the pilot, his goggles atop his head, smiling down at him before a torpedo fell from the plane's belly.
Stories like Templet's are documented in "Infamy: December 1941," opening today at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Source: Yahoo.com
In this artist’s interpretation of a photograph, Sailors stand beneath the American flag on the 12-foot rangefinder platform of the USS Arizona’s mainmast at some point after the Pearl Harbor attacks. The rangefinder has been removed from the platform, as have the searchlights from the 36-inch searchlight platform above it.
Artwork by Jim Caiella
The mainmast was removed from the Arizona’s wreckage on 23 August 1942 and scrapped. At the height of the war, little thought was given to artifacts or the Arizona’s significance as a national shrine. Featured on the "From Our Archive" page of the December 2009 issue of Proceedings.)
Source: U.S. Naval Institute

Mary Ann Ramsey, a recent high school graduate and then-resident of Ford Island described what happened in the immediate aftermath of the attacks in an article originally published by the U.S. Naval Institute (Winter 1991.)
“...The entire island seemed to be blowing up. It was then that a fluster of activity outside telegraphed the arrival of our wounded. Passenger cars, Navy vehicles – any transport at hand – began to pull up, discharging men from the Arizona and the ships around her.
“A young man, filthy black oil covering his burned, shredded flesh, walked in unaided. The skin hung from his arms like scarlet ribbons, as he staggered toward my mother for help. Looking at me, he gestured to his throat, trying to speak; he must have swallowed some of the burning oil as he swam through the inferno.
The Corridor of Henry Adair Bunker (12.04.11)
“His light blue eyes against the whites, made more so by the oil clinging to his face, were luminous in visible shock at what they had seen and experienced  that awful morning. We directed him to the mattresses now lining the corridor of the shelter, as the Marines herded us into a side room in order to keep the passageway clear for the arrival of more wounded.”
Source: COMSUBPAC Public Affairs Office.
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