Attack on Pearl Harborby Representative Jim McDermott
Posted on 2015-12-08
McDERMOTT asked and was given permission to address the House
for 1 minute.)
Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, one of the darkest days in American
history was December 8, 1941. Over 2,400 lives were lost in the attack
on Pearl Harbor the previous day. Half our Navy was destroyed, and our
allies in Europe were on the verge of collapse. It was a terrifying and
uncertain time to be in the world.
The world feels particularly dark these days, too. Things feel more uncertain. And for a country that enjoys the privilege of security, we might be forgiven for this growing anxiety. Fear makes it easy to be nervous and cynical.
We allowed our baser instincts to get the better of us in this country, as we did in 1941. We translated the contagion of xenophobia into national policy with the internment of German and Japanese from my area in internment camps.
We are hearing the same contemptible rhetoric today. It is dishonorable, it is false, and to believe it is to reject the fundamental truth that the American people are ultimately made of finer stuff than fear, blame, and prejudice.
We will get through these troubles, Mr. Speaker. Nothing is above our strength or our endurance as a nation so long as we have the grace and courage to remind ourselves on our darkest [[Page H9033]] days of our essential values and responsibilities as a free and open people.