Hawaii residents and visitors today heard a siren test that has not blared since the Cold War in the 1980s: an attack warning signal that state officials resurrected in light of the North Korean nuclear missile threat.
At 11:45 a.m. about 180 sirens on Oahu and 385 statewide blared the usual steady-tone “attention alert” that is meant for threats such as hurricanes or tsunamis. But that was followed by the wavering, one-minute attack warning signal to alert the public to a possible North Korean nuclear attack.
At the USS Arizona Memorial, which next week will commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, mainland visitors reacted with “goose bumps” and concern after hearing the attack warning siren test.
Bruce and Jody Teasley, visitors from Oregon, said they knew from media reports that the North Korean warning siren test was coming today.
Bruce, 63, said it reminded him of WW II air-raid sirens. “I got goose bumps,” he said just outside the memorial visitor center. He added that it “took me a second, and then I remembered that we had seen the article in the paper about it and so then I remembered what it was about and what it actually was.
“Then I just started imagining the guys who were sitting here on duty that day (in 1941) when the attack happened and what must have going through their minds.”
The couple said the siren test did not make them uneasy to be in Hawaii, “because I know we have a pretty good missile defense system in place,” Bruce said.
His wife Jody, 61, added, “The other thing is that you can’t stop living your life.”
Melissa Henderson, 43, from Baton…