Voice of the People: Thoughts On Pearl Harbor Day

James J. Devine

James J. Devine

by James J. Devine

Pearl Harbor Day on Dec. 7, is a time to remember the deadly strike against America’s fleet at the Hawaiian naval base, but also to think of the Alamo, the Maine and 9-11.

Each of these provocations to war has resulted in heroic action as Americans responded to foreign aggression with unity despite our internal political differences.

Should they also remind us of the terrible tragedy associated with violence, even when justified by significant incitement? Should they provide warning to our potential adversaries?

Over-population, climate change and war present grave threats to the survival of our species. Seven billion humans inhabit the planet today. Sandy’s grim message — in case you missed it — was that climate change has consequences. The heroics displayed by brave soldiers in battle cannot suppress the truth that violence does not solve anything.

In the nuclear age, humanity can no longer afford to settle political disputes by killing and as we observe events in Gaza and Israel, elsewhere in the Middle East, and in Africa, we should not only remember but learn from history.

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson broadcast a television commercial that is perhaps the most famous of all campaign ads, but overlooked is his simple remark: “These are the stakes: To make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the darkness. We must either love each other, or we must die.”

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