To the Editor:
Those who are now comparing Tuesday’s attack to Pearl Harbor are belittling what occurred in New York City. The Japanese sneak attack on Dec. 7, 1941, killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178. The death toll of yesterday’s mass murder could easily reach twice that amount while the number of wounded and maimed could be many times greater.
The American dead at Pearl Harbor were mostly military personnel who had pledged to preserve, protect and defend the United States with their lives. Most of Tuesday’s dead were civilians incapable of resisting an airliner on a suicide run.
The Japanese believed they were acting in their national interest and at least paid lip service to international law by declaring war. Tuesday, without cause, without warning and without honor, our countrymen were slaughtered at their places of work as punishment for their government’s support of liberty, democracy and justice in our world. Less than four years after Pearl Harbor, the nations who made war upon us offered their unconditional surrender.
What happened yesterday was not a second Pearl Harbor. It was far worse.
Aaron Nagano ’02
September 11, 2001