Today Is December 7

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U.S. Navy

Rescuing survivors following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

For those of a certain generation, the date brings back memories of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 71 years ago today.

It was an important date for my parents, just as 9/11 is for my generation, and for my sons’.

(Don’t think too much about what date will fill those shoes for the grandkids.)

Anyway, in honor of the 2,402 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor, Battleland today has a series of posts dealing with the Navy and the Pacific:

First up is Darlene Iskra, the Navy’s first female skipper, writing on how she believes the Navy’s 7th Fleet has stumbled in dealing with misbehavior by its sailors by imposing a tough new curfew. That action happened at 7th Fleet HQ, which just happens to be at Yokosuka, Japan.

Second comes author John Koster, with a different take on the catalyst that led to the Japanese attack.

Third, Kirk Spitzer files from Japan on the return of the U.S. Army to a Pacific military exercise from which it has been MIA for more than a decade due to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Fourth, defense theorist John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School shares some thoughts on the decapitation the Navy brass exacted on his beloved institution last week. The school moved from its original home in Annapolis, Md., to Monterey, Calif., shortly after World War II.

— Finally, we close with a link to a series of amazing photos from the files of LIFE magazine.

In between, we’ll post a photo of one the Navy’s first three female submariners, getting her dolphins – signifying she is now a full-fledged submariner – pinned on by her husband, also a submariner.

All in all, Dec. 7 is perhaps the most solemn day in Navy history, and is worth noting. For a fresh account of that historic day, don’t miss Betty McIntosh’s eyewitness story, posted online by the Washington Post on Thursday.

“My editors thought the graphic content would be too upsetting for readers and decided not to run my article,” McIntosh, now 97, said in a preface to her piece. “It appears here for the first time.”