Armed Hostilities

Designing a Museum Display for Pearl Harbour

THESIS: A museum display for Pearl Harbour is an important part of the teaching of the national history, demonstration of bravery, and invincible courage of the nation. World War II and attack on Pearl Harbour as its first event for the United States lead to the transformation of the structure of this war; despite the terrible human loss, it was a great lesson for the nation that used this negative experience to demonstrate the power of the country, its will to overcome the obstacles and to prove its capability to be leading nation in the world.

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The more we learn about our history, the more we can realize how fragile our life is. The history of war and especially World War II is a story of heroic affairs, human bravery, and courage that created an image of the country as a strong and powerful state. The attack of the Imperial Japanese Navy against the naval base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, caused the entry of the United States into World War II, the most violent and cruel event in history. Millions of soldiers died during the years of battles.

Millions of lives had been changed forever, opening the age of post-war depression and disappointment. However, it would be wrong to claim that such a depressive mood was prevalent. We call our soldiers of World War II the “greatest generation” because those people proved their outstanding bravery and will to protect the native land in the face of danger. A museum display for Pearl Harbour is an important part of the teaching of the national history, demonstration of bravery, and invincible courage of the nation during the war.

World War II and attack on Pearl Harbour as its first event for the United States lead to the transformation of the structure of this war; despite the terrible human loss, it was a great lesson for the nation that used this negative experience to demonstrate the power of the country, its will to overcome the obstacles and to prove its capability to be leading nation in the world.

There were several historical precedents in history when Japan acted without an annunciation. This particular attack had been brewing for a few years. Although the United States did not want to start an evident confrontation with Japan, it was obvious that the relations between the two countries were tension. However, historically, both countries had very good relations that included the supply of many natural and industrial resources to Japan by the United States. Even after the alarming signs of increasing aggressive military policy of Japan, the United States did not diminish supply and commercial treaty.

During the period of the Great Depression, the relations between the United States and Japan were quite stable and friendly. However, the Japanese way of policy become more militaristic, and, as a result, in 1931, they occupied Manchuria that was a part of China. The Japanese government considered such a policy as a helpful measure of extension of the territory. The population grew fast, and industries required more place to develop. Moreover, the Japanese government did not want to stop in China and joined the alliance with fascistic German and Italy, entering into World War II. According to Robinson (2011), early military success, and an idea of racial superiority caused an appearance of beliefs within the Japanese society about the possibility and deserving to be dominating nation among Asian countries. In cooperation with Nazi and Fascists, Japan developed a highly aggressive model of neo-colonial foreign strategy that included the seizure of the territories of other Asian countries.

High birth rate and economical purposes required more land. This practical necessity for Japan was caused by small territorial reserves, lack of natural resources, and supplies. In September 1941, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy and, thereby, entered World War II. The Japanese aggression increased, making relations with the United States worse. However, the United States did not expect that this situation will lead to such an event as the attack on Pearl Harbour. If during the first years of World War II, the United States tried to maintain the policy of isolationism and did not want to send out soldiers to the battles in Europe, after the attack the country had no other choice but to enter the War.

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On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy provided a military attack against the naval base at Pearl Harbour. Within two hours, Japanese aircrafts tried to destroy the US base. As a result, five battleships and 188 aircrafts had been destroyed, another 16 battleships had been seriously damaged (Robinson). This attack leads to the serious people’s loss; over 2,400 American citizens were killed and 1,178 were injured (Robinson). One day changed the way of World War II, forcing the United States to enter World War II in both theaters the European against Germany and Italy and Pacific, declaring war on Japan.

The American citizens were shocked by the attack on Pearl Harbour. In fact, after 70 years, this event still seems shocking and terrible. Therefore, a museum display for Pearl Harbour would be a great memorial for the whole nation that should remember about this act, remember about the soldiers who died there, and use this experience to prevent such events in the future. The most valuable lesson we got concludes in the statement that it is highly important to be always ready to protect the citizens and to repulse the enemy. Visiting the museum expositions, people get an opportunity not only to see the materials but also to feel the events, to be a witness of those terrible days that will always live in infamy according to the words of President Roosevelt.

A museum display should tell the story of one morning, one day of the life of the Americans who were in church, sleeping, getting breakfast, talking with relatives or friends, enjoying the marvelous weather, and how a few hours completely changed their life. Being the witnesses of this event, the visitors would be full of emotions. Every visitor will be able to improve one’s knowledge about this event, learning more facts and details.

Enlightening and educating millions of visitors, the museum will help citizens to understand and honor the memory of representatives of the “greatest generation”, those who made the country more powerful. A display of Pearl Harbour as the event launched World War II for the United States will be the visual aid of the terrible reality and consequences of the War on one hand and the best characteristics of people on the other hand. The visitors will see how the representatives of the “greatest generation” protected their native land and democratic ideas around the world.

History as the biography of the country and its nation plays a significant role in the process of forming of patriotic attitude and spirit of the nation. It is highly important to teach the young generation, demonstrating the material of the most influential events in the history of the United States. Being educated in a way of respect for the national values, the young generation will be ready to protect the country and to prevent such events that may affect stability and progress in the future.

A museum display for Pearl Harbour would be our contribution in the process of creating the strong and invincible generation of the citizens who appreciate the affairs of their ancestors and value a peaceful and diplomatic way of developing the relations in the modern world. A display may contain the facts from biographies of veterans and witnesses of this event. Such materials would help visitors to reach the most exciting peculiarities of the war such as human emotions (for example, reading a letter of the soldier to his family), the best qualities of characters, bravery, and courage of those who went to fight and die for the native land.

This display will be interesting not only for the narrow range of historians and specialists but for the large circle of citizens, children, and their parents. Students will be able to find out the causes that lead to the attack, they will learn in detail about this day and its consequences. As a part of the student’s research, an opportunity to visit a museum display will help the student to cope with the task well. Besides, this display will draw the attention of foreign visitors who would like to expand their knowledge about the history of the United States and World War II. Today, many people neglect the importance of historical knowledge, being sure that the events happened in the past do not have any value for the current situation. It is necessary to explain that such a statement is wrong and unreasonable.

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For instance, people may think that the main consequence of the attack on Pearl Harbour was the entrance of the United States into World War II. However, people forget to make conclusions about the effect of this event on the results of this War. Thus, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were caused by the previous aggression of Japan. After demonstrating its nuclear power, the United States launched the Cold War with the Soviet Union. This list can be continued. I want to emphasize that every historical event, and especially such significant events as the attack on Pearl Harbour, has its consequences that change the face of world politics forever. Therefore, it is difficult to overestimate the value of a display for Pearl Harbour.

On the night and morning of 7 December 1941, the citizens of Hawaii and the United States felt secure and protected. Nothing foreboded the catastrophe and no one expected that enemy submarines would come near to Pearl Harbour. The city was quiet and peaceful until the last second when the Japanese aircrafts roared over Pearl Harbour. Nevertheless, it happened and the history of the country had been changed suddenly and irrevocably as well as it happened on 11 September 2001. Analyzing the historical evidence, learning its lessons, the nation will be ready for all possible catastrophes and will be ready to prevent it.

Therefore, it is highly important to create a museum display for Pearl Harbour, helping the visitors to investigate one of the key events in the history of the United States. We will be able to help the young generation learn more about the history of their land and respect their greatest ancestors and the country.

Works Cited

Robinson, Bruce. 2011, Pearl Harbour: A Rude Awakening.

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