Thomas writes in your 9.11.07 that we remember certain events
to hopefully forestall their recurrence. To be sure, but unfortunately
memory in America is selective and can have an edge to it.
Emancipation Proclamation, for example, might be remembered
as the moment a young democracy forever put behind it the blight
of human slavery. But today it is commonly regarded as a small
event of interest largely to African - Americans.
while we must certainly wish to avoid another atomic holocaust,
the death of a quarter million Japanese lives more in their
memory than ours. For us the memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
is fraught with potential for recrimination and doubt about
the wisdom of our actions in 1945, something very strong political
groups are determined to avoid.
the early years of World War II our government confiscated the
property and freedom of 140 thousand Americans for security
reasons. Outside of the Japanse-American community the event
has almost no place in our collective memory. The exercise of
“robust’ executive power manifested in this relocation
of Americans of Japanese ancestry has been used in the last
few years to justify extraordinary exercises of executive power
for reasons of security. And thus, as Cal Thomas suggested,
the failure to remember has put us in danger again.