Pearl Harbor child shares story of attacks - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Pearl Harbor child shares story of attacks

Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

PEARL HARBOR (KHNL) - The anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks is less than two weeks away. We see that historic day through the eyes of a child who lived so close to Pearl Harbor, she could see the goggles of a pilot who flew over her family's home.

She's a living breathing piece of history. Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson was only six-years-old when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor.

"People say, 'You know that was a long time ago and you were a child' but you don't forget those images. They are burned into your memory," she said.

Burned so deep, Dorinda says that deadly day is a slideshow that still replays vividly in her mind.

"Our roof caught on fire and the house next door had so many bullet holes through it that the door fell off and we have bomb casings and shells everywhere and we could see the ships burning," she said.

Dorinda's family lived in Pearl City Peninsula, near the Pan American World Airways Clipper Base where her mother worked.

It was just a few hundred yards from Battleship Row, Japan's main target.

"We had one casualty in my area, it was a little girl with shrapnel," said Nicholson.

Dorinda says life after that was filled with strict military rules. Everyone six and older had to carry ID's to help identify their body in case of another attack.

"We had to all have ID cards, even little ones with our fingerprints, you had to wear that on you. And you had to carry your gas masks."

Dorinda's memories are all captured in her a book, 'Pearl Harbor Child'. She says her mission is to share a story that's hardly told.

"Bombs don't just fall on the battle sites. Most who are killed in a war are the women and children who are left at home. And yet who tells their stories?"

Dorinda will make two appearances at Pearl Harbor's Pacific Aviation Museum, this Friday and Saturday.

For details, click on 'Pearl Harbor Child' under 'News Links' on our website.

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