m e m o r i a l i z i n g
h i s t o r y
The pre sen ta tions had gone well. For an eve ning event held in the middle of
the week at the memorial’s visitor center, a respectable audience had turned
out. They listened appreciatively as a panel of museum specialists offered their
critiques of the new museum opened in December 2010 as part of a $58 mil-
lion make over for the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument,
home to the uss Arizona Memorial, the national memorial to the bombing
attack on Pearl Harbor, carried out in 1941, that killed over two thousand
and triggered Amer i ca’s entry into the war.1 The question- and- answer period
generated discussion that surely pleased the representatives of the National
Park Ser vice who oversee the memorial and were on the panel to present their
views of the proj ect and solicit comments. As the panel facilitator asked if
there were any further questions, a middle-aged man raised his hand and stood
to give his comment.
I do have a question. My name is Keoni Wong 2 and when I saw the ex-
hibit I was pulled by the . . . very obvious story that is being told but
[pause], of the Hawaiian perspective, I saw nothing. [Voice cracking.]
I’ve lived in these islands for sixty-three years, born and raised, and
this is my first time to come to Pearl Harbor. My parents witnessed, my
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