HONOLULU — With the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor approaching, Keith Haugen wanted to do something special to commemorate the date.
With that in mind, he sat down with his friend and singer Gordon Freitas and put together an album featuring songs about Pearl Harbor to honor those who were lost on Dec. 7, 1941.
“The main reason (we did an album) is because Gordon Freitas and I are the only ones with songs written specifically for Pearl Harbor,” said Haugen.
“The first two (on the album) are mine and the other two are his.
“If people go looking for Pearl Harbor songs, those are the only ones you’re going to find,” Haugen said.
“We decided not to put only four songs on a CD, which makes it not a saleable product. Most of the songs on this, we have recorded and used on an album back in 2001. It’s out of print, so we lifted most of the songs from that recording and included them on this one.”
Haugen did mention that he heard there was a song written in the ‘40s about Pearl Harbor but hasn’t done any research on it, citing that he heard that it “wasn’t a very good song.”
“I came up with the idea because most of our product is out of print. Matter of fact, right now, it’s all out of print,” he said. “I was sitting and thinking that we have the only songs and earlier this year when the governor put together a committee to plan the events for the 75th anniversary, I said that we better get in on those because there’s nothing else out there. It’s one of a kind.”
There are two poems featured on the album, “Lest We Forget” and “In Flanders Fields.” There are also two selections on the album which don’t necessarily relate to Pearl Harbor, but still have a place in America’s history of war.
“‘Danny Boy’ goes way back and ‘Ballad of The Green Beret’ is one of the most famous from the Vietnam War. We decided to include those two to appeal to a larger demographic,” Haugen said.
The album is an opportunity for Haugen and Freitas to give back to the community and recognize veterans of war, something that means a lot to them.
“We’re both veterans,” Haugen said. “Gordon is a former Navy chief petty officer and I’m a former Army staff sergeant. Both of us are very patriotic. Most of our closest friends are retired military and patriotic people.”
Haugen and Freitas are planning on putting the CD on CDBaby.com and at the gift shops at the Arizona Memorial, Pacific Aviation Museum and Bishop Museum.