Territory of Hawai'i

Alice's birth certificate.
Alice's birth certificate.

The year is 1942. Pearl Harbor has just been bombed and America has officially been given a reason to enter World War Two. Among all the people in Hawai’i who were affected by the loss, stress, and anxiety, stood a little 4-year-old girl who watched the Japanese planes fly over her home. She was scared, the planes were very loud, she was anxious, because now there was silence. After the attacks, this little girl boarded a Navy ship on its way to California with her small family. Onboard this ship she remembered the members of the Navy on board, the anxiety of the unknown, along with how small she was compared to this big ship. She knew she would leave Hawai’i for a very long time. This little girl ended up growing up in Brooklyn, New York, having six children and is my grandmother.What makes being Hawaiian important to me is that my heritage connects me with my family. We are all united by this similarity. My grandmother, Alice’s, birth certificate symbolizes the beginning of our family in New York City. In these uncertain times, being able to communicate with my grandmother about her immigration story has brought me comfort. From her and her journey, the rest of my family and myself were able to create our own stories. Talking to her reminds me of the family I am unable to see during the quarantine. Further, her story brings me comfort that we may not be able to see each other, but we will always be connected and a part of each other’s lives.

Place(s): Oahu, Hawaii -- New York City, New York -- Binghamton, New York
Year: 1942

– Jacqueline Campbell

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant