Pearl Harbor Voices: Distancing from Japan

Dec 6, 2016

Credit Wikipedia Commons
Annie Shirabe Mālama, bottom row, center.
Credit Derrick Mālama

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 Mālama.  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 Mālama. 

Picnic at Sans Souci Beach. Annie Shirabe Mālama, second from left.
Credit Derrick Mālama

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 Mālama. 

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