Heroes’ Hearts® and Pieces of Aloha


PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR’S SON, follows dad’s advice and “does something good” with the only known sweetheart souvenir from the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Seventy-five years ago, a simple act of love, has set into motion multiple projects that will be featured for the first time at this year’s silver anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. What began the day the U.S. involvement in WWII has joined Gordon Richiusa, (Author, editor and story owner) with co-producer Michelle Manu (half-Hawaiian teacher of Lua/Hula) as they return a special artifact to Oahu to take part in the 75th Anniversary events.

Heroes Hearts Bracelet

The documentary, Pieces of Aloha (with participating Oahu director, Edgy Lee) follows a real life quest of a son to honor his 95 year old father’s wishes and to “Do something good” with the only known “Sweetheart Souvenir” from the battle of Pearl Harbor. A linking hearts bracelet, designed and made by Sam Richiusa, we call Heroes’ Hearts© was made from a downed Japanese plane by a young Marine Corporal for his newlywed bride. The actions and simple recollections of an average, Sicilian American Marine, is the catalyst for launching a larger story of love and duty to which all generations can relate. The documentary is part of several currently evolving stories/projects, which rewrite WW2 history for the Hawaiian people, Japanese Americans and nationals, Italian Americans, and African American Marines. “When this story is fully revealed,” says Michelle Manu. “We will all have a richer understanding of the word Aloha.”

The original bracelet will be displayed at various museums around the country and will come to rest at the Japanese American Historical Society.

In addition to the documentary and other film and text projects, exact replicas of the Heroes’Hearts bracelet are being created, with the hope of offering assistance to PTSD victims. “Our hope is that we can create a symbol of true aloha that is beyond all borders and restrictions, something that any man or woman, father, mother, daughter, or son can relate understand and value. When we talk about Heroes’ Hearts, that’s what we mean…When my dad handed me the bracelet, at my mother’s memorial and said, ‘Do something good with this,’ he knew exactly what he was doing.”

—Gordon Richiusa