A collection of stories from ordinary men and women who lived through extraordinary times. They lived in places like Lee's Summit, Independence and Kansas City, yet their experiences were much like those of World War II veterans everywhere. Some were marines, nurses, or fighter pilots, others were simply civilians who lived through the war under the martial law imposed on the Hawaiian islands after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Ken Hatfield gathers the stories of more than 80 men and women, whom he began interviewing in 1984 while reporting for a small weekly newspaper in Liberty, Missouri. His first subject was a co-worker's relative and the interview, which lasted several hours, had a profound effect on Hatfield. He begand to realise that as a journalist he had a unique opportunity to preserve that small piece of history every veteran carries. Hatfield spent the next 17 years interviewing nearly 100 World War II veterans and other individuals and then decided to compile the stories into a book. The interviews included Jim Daniels, a Grumman Wildcat pilot who, while trying to land at Pearl Harbor on the evening after the Japanese attack, suvived a blizzard of friendly fire; Dee Nicholson, who was just six years old when Pearl Harbor and her home on Hawaii were bombed; and Charles McGee, a pilot with 143 combat missions to his credit. Following the war, these people returned to the lives they had left and tried to adjust as best they could. Hatfield collects their personal memories - the memories of those who helped to defend their nation. Through their stories he hopes to capture this fading period for future generations.