December 7 is a day that will live in infamy… but it is also, for me, a hopeful day. As I remember the attack on Pearl Harbor, I am reminded that Japan and the USA are no longer enemies. Horrible violence and ethnic prejudice can be overcome. This is a hopeful observance during a time in which many are looking for hope.
We are in the midst of difficult times with outbreaks of horrifying violence… violence that some celebrate. But we can overcome the violence and move beyond the hatred and prejudice. It will not be without cost and it will not be on a path of certainty. But we must never lose hope for peace. We can never give up.
I don’t know how terrorism will be defeated because the violence is idea-based and seems to simply infect certain people like a disease. Probably it can only be minimized and suppressed because the human condition seems to include a certain proclivity for violence.
But today, on Pearl Harbor Day, I look at former and current relationship between Japan and the USA, between Americans and Japanese, between Christians, Shintos and Buddhists, and I choose to live in hope.