SOA was proud and honored to be able to share music of the World War II era and other patriotic songs at a gathering on December 6, 2016, of U.S. Air Force and other military service personnel and families to honor Army Air Corps survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago. We were doubly pleased that we were able to take part in this event, held at the Historic Hickam Officers' Club at the mouth of Pearl Harbor, with our sisters-in-song, the Honolulu Blend Show Chorus.
While the world marking this important anniversary is most familiar with the naval events of December 7, 1941, the attacks of that day also took their toll on other service branches, as well as Oahu's civilian community. Buildings at the Hickam Air Force Base part of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam still bear pockmarks from the attack. It's hard to express the exhilaration we felt as members of the large dinner crowd took to their feet and clapped to their respective service anthems in our medley, or as tears flowed at the eloquent MCing and tender ballads, or as we received standing ovations, both for the service medley and after our final song with Honolulu Blend. The many gracious words of appreciation afterwards from members of this very special audience were touching indeed.
To top off the evening, after returning from the performance both choruses joined a gathering hosted by our other Hawaii sisters-in-song, Na Leo Lani, for two visiting barbershop choruses from the Mainland that were here to participate in other events in the week-long commemoration: Pacific Northwest women's powerhouse the Pride of Portland and eight-time international champion men's barbershop chorus the southern California-based Masters of Harmony!
By the way, if you're interested in the less familiar "Hawaiian Air Force" side of the Pearl Harbor story, a past longtime SOA member and Air Force historian, John Kuborn, literally wrote the book on the subject! The no-frills text of the book just happens to be readable for free online at this link.