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by Shu-chin Yu & Brittany Ross student writers

As part of last year’s activities commemorating the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, the History Channel presented rare Japanese and American footage from 1941 news reports on the attack. The Dec. 3 event, held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, gave the audience a look at the ways news reporting has changed throughout the years.

Pearl Harbor survivors and residents of O‘ahu who were here during the attacks gathered at the event to commemorate and grieve the heart-rending history.

The event consisted of two parts. Part one of the event was a look at the documentary footage of Pearl Harbor from both the Japanese and American perspectives.

In the U.S, the footage was not shown for a year after the attacks because the government carefully produced it for the purpose of propaganda. It was collaboration with Movietone News, so some of the footage that was portrayed to be Pearl Harbor was actually clips from movies and footage from other attacks. The carefully made footage was intended to prepare audiences for war. Japanese also used the footage as propaganda for the war.

American footage was mainly based on how they had built themselves up since the attack. Men signing up for war, ships being built, and President Franklin Roosevelt promising “We are going to win this war,” were points that the Americans focused on.

The Japanese side showed different types of attacks on Pearl Harbor. The footage, on the other hand, portrayed the attack as something that they were proud of and used stirring music that gave a sense of victory.

“ The American side obviously emphasized the idea of a sneak attack and their loss of men and ships,” said Daniel Martinez, chief historian at the USS Arizona Memorial. “Japanese newsreels portrayed images and themes of victorious Japanese forces overcoming American and British giants.”
The second part of the event was a two-panel discussion. The first panel was “How They Reported It,” and it contrasted headlines of Dec. 7, 1941 and Sept. 11, 2001. Featuring media experts and reporters, the discussion covered the difference between the reporting on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and New York on 9-11.

“ Both events are world changing,” said Dr. Jeffery White, who spoke at the event. “People remember where and what they were doing during both of these.”

The second panel discussed “A New Beginning: The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites,” and it featured representatives from the USS Bowfin Submarine & Museum, USS Missouri Battleship Memorial, and the Pacific Aviation Museum. A film of the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitors Center was shown.

The 65th reunion for the survivors of Pearl Harbor was held at the Arizona Memorial on Dec. 7, 2006. This was the last reunion that will be held for the survivors of Pearl Harbor.

Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.

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