“I felt that it was an unnecessary loss of civilian life… We had them beaten. They hadn’t enough food, they couldn’t do anything.”
“. . . we had Japan beaten already”
-Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
I think it’s fair to say the the horror of Pearl Harbor has an analog in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and I have to say I’m with Nimitz on this one. And it’s one of the reasons I admire him.
From Churchill (despite his faults), to the crew at Bletchley Park who cracked the Enigma code, many of my personal heroes played a role in the second world war. But I’m hard pressed to think of someone who did so much as unobtrusively, and with as much of a conscience as Admiral Nimitz. A German American from small-town Texas, he’d become Fleet Admiral of the US Navy, despite facing reprimand for speaking (impolitically) from his conscience on more than one occasion.
“They fought together as brothers in arms; they died together and now they sleep side by side…To them, we have a solemn obligation — the obligation to ensure that their sacrifice will help make this a better and safer world in which to live.”
I won’t ever forget.
I admire the Nimitz museum, even as I admire Nimitz, for it’s sense of history and compassion for all the parties involved. I honestly can’t recommend it highly enough (though certain things, such as naming a major component of the museum after a Bush must be taken with a grain of salt. It is, after all, American). It’s operated by the Admirial Nimitz Foundation, which does accept monetary donations. http://www.nimitzfoundation.org/
This is a guest post from my World’s Best Vegan Travel Blog, double posted because we think Pearl Harbor Day is pretty important.