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One December Night

Author:

Edward and I, one summer night. Print available.

Three years ago today, I met the love of my life. We celebrate two anniversaries – our wedding, of course, and the night we met completely by chance, and everything changed.  Here are our two versions of the story of that night that we each wrote a couple of years ago, when the memories were still crystal clear, so we would never forget:

The short version, as told by Dallas:

Well, it all started when I went to the TBQ party. I noticed him as he came in because 1.) I thought he was hot, 2.) He had a camera, and 3.)I’d never seen him before, even though I know a lot of the Twitter-photographers.  Later, when we were shooting the opening dance/music for the night, I noticed I had a better position for photos than he did, so I made eye contact with him for the first time and motioned for him to move closer as I scooted over. Later, I went to hide by Kaeo, who was doing the A/V stuff for the event’s livestream, and Ed ended up following me back there. We talked about photography, and he showed me his photos on his iPhone. I remember thinking, “Do I really have to look at this guy’s photos?” but then I also realized I’d just been complaining about no one seeing my own photos, and this was obviously one way to go about it. Plus, his weren’t bad. ;) Before we stopped talking, I added him to Facebook and we exchanged cards.

Later that night, he found me again, and literally dragged me onto the dance floor. Anyone who was there that night might remember my infamous ‘hooker-boots’, and my feet were already dying…but I danced anyway. Considering I can barely walk in them, I thought I did okay, but he now believes I can’t really dance. :P

Back with my friends, I was giggling madly about the whole thing. I don’t do the “meet-random-people-dance-with-them” thing…EVER.

He eventually came back and dragged me out for another dance, after which I pleaded mercy for my feet and we spent the rest of the night at the club just sitting and talking.

After the party was over, a lot of people were re-locating to Shokudo for food, and Ed offered to give me a ride there. I was a little hesitant getting into a car with a stranger, but I figured if he tried anything bad I could blacklist him on Twitter (yes, my logic…), so I went with him. We drove to Shokudo and sat in his car for 20 minutes still talking with each other before heading into the restaurant. He bought me dinner and we talked and talked and talked…

Finally, he admitted he had to be up for work in just a few hours, so I walked him out to his car, because I was catching a ride home with Kaeo. We slowly said goodnight, and then he lingered by his car door. I’m kind of blunt and impatient, so I finally asked him point blank, “So, do you want to kiss me?”

He said yes. And I said, “Okay.” And he did. Twice.

And that’s the story of how we met.

Pretty much love-at-first-sight. <3

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70th Anniversary Of December 7th At Pearl Harbor

Author:

Photos and Words by Edward and Dallas Nagata White

Seventy years ago, a quiet winter morning much like today’s hung over Pearl Harbor. War had been ongoing in the Pacific since 1937, and in Europe since 1939. Despite the surrounding conflict, the United States and its citizens sought neutrality; war had yet to reach our shores, and there was no desire or expectation of involvement in any of the conflicts. The attack came out of the blue, both literally and metaphorically.

On December 7th, 1941 at 7:48 am, sailors in Pearl Harbor noticed fighters in the sky. Initially, most of the island’s military presumed that it was an exercise–it couldn’t possibly be an attack…America wasn’t at war.

Then the bombs began to drop.

Though there is still debate as to when World War II precisely began and ended, December 7th, 1941 is universally recognized as the point when the ongoing global conflicts began merging and becoming a single war–a date that will live in infamy, as then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared.

On that day seventy years ago, the Japanese sought to intimidate America by crippling the Pacific Fleet, and failed. On that day, the sailors and soldiers of Hawaii stood up and fought back, setting the tone for a nation newly at war.

Today, December 7th, 2011, we attended the 70th anniversary memorial ceremony of the attack on Pearl Harbor to pay our respect to those few survivors alive today, and those still entombed under the harbor’s still waters. It was a momentous occasion, widely attended by both survivors, family members, and officials from both the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Today’s memorial carried an air of reflection, perhaps more today than in other years. In addition to being the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks, 2011 also saw the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The similarities between the two events and the timing were highlighted by both an open letter from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ address.

When the opportunity presented itself, Ed would ask survivors about the parallels between December 7th and September 11th, and how the felt about the wars that occurred in the interim. The answers ranged from some survivors proclaiming that the nation must remain strong against dictators to preserve freedom to others feeling at a loss, as they had originally felt theirs had been the war to end all wars. All felt thankful for those that had laid down their lives then and now to preserve the freedom of America and her people.

To add to the poignancy of the occasion, William Muehleib, President of the National Pearl Harbor Survivors Association announced the disbanding of the association, citing the dwindling members. As if to drive the point home, upon returning home, I found an obituary announcing the death of a Pearl Harbor survivor who had been unable to attend today’s memorial.

During the ceremony, we felt particularly touched at the Japanese presence. Once a hated enemy, Japan has since become an invaluable ally in the Pacific. Though we spotted no Japanese Pearl Harbor pilots, there was a large delegation of Japanese religious groups who had come to offer prayers of peace and remembrance sitting intermingled with the various survivors.

After the ceremony, the survivors were ferried to the USS Arizona memorial to pay their respect to their brothers in arms, followed by the Japanese delegation, who were joined by one World War II veteran who stayed behind.

We were incredibly honored to celebrate the lives of these courageous individuals and remember the symbol of America’s will to fight when called upon to do so. This will likely be the last milestone of this caliber for many of the survivors, and we were glad to be there to capture it.

Best,

Dallas and Ed

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