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00000179-60bf-d8e2-a9ff-f5ff3000000075 years ago this week, Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor and other targets on O‘ahu, leading the United States into World War Two and changing life in the islands forever. All this week, Hawai‘i Public Radio is airing remembrances of some of our neighbors who were on O‘ahu that day as well as others who have ties to the islands. You can hear these pieces on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and after they air you will be able to find them on our website.

Pearl Harbor Voices: Distancing from Japan

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons
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Derrick M?lama
Credit Derrick M?lama
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Annie Shirabe M?lama, bottom row, center.

Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago today changed life in the islands—and across the United States.  When Japanese planes were sighted in the skies over Pearl Harbor 75 years ago today, many people thought at first they were simply engaged in military exercises.

For Hawai‘i residents of Japanese ancestry, there were additional challenges—and fear.  Every person who was on island that day has a story.  One comes from Annie Shirabe M?lama.  She was a young girl playing outside with a friend in Honolulu…near Kukui Street and Beretania…when they looked up into the sky.  She described what happened next to her son, our Morning Edition anchor Derrick M?lama. 

Derrick M?lama
Credit Derrick M?lama
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Picnic at Sans Souci Beach. Annie Shirabe M?lama, second from left.

The bombings propelled this country into the second world war…and sent Hawai‘i into years of martial law.  It was a fear that reached into the living rooms of many—including Annie M?lama. 

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We’ll have more coverage of today’s events at Pearl Harbor later in the program….including more Pearl Harbor Voices.

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