Letters for Nov. 27: On the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor show respect – The Virginian-Pilot

letters-for-nov.-27:-on-the-80th-anniversary-of-pearl-harbor-show-respect-–-the-virginian-pilot

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Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Virginian-Pilot. It was early on a Sunday morning when my dad along with other shipmates were waiting for a liberty boat to pick them up from the USS Phelps to attend Sunday mass. As they were boarding the boat the sound of bombs and bullets filled the air. The day was Dec. 7, 1941. The late Frank Chebetar was just one among thousands of men, women and children who were thrust into World War II. Dad and his shipmates were lucky to get out of Pearl Harbor alive with their U.S. Navy destroyer intact. His 20-year-old eyes and ears witnessed the horror of death while passing by the USS Arizona and others that were sunk and or decimated by the bombs, torpedoes and bullets of the Japanese naval planes. They swarmed the air shooting at any movement, military target or human being around. More than 2,000 were killed that day. My father survived this war along with the many men and women who would come back home in 1945. The friendships that were established during this period caused them to form the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. William Muehleib of Virginia Beach was the last national president, and my father served as the final president of Chapter 2 of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Those who served in the Navy, Marine Corps, Army Air Corps and Coast Guard on this day should be given our highest respect for what they did in the service to the citizens of our great nation. On the 80th anniversary of this devastating event, may we never forget and always be prepared. Whole communities of whites rioted to kill Blacks and destroy their property in the historical period known as Reconstruction and its aftermath in Wilmington, North Carolina; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Rosewood, Florida; among other places. That is a fact. It is also factual that during this same period no white person was convicted in any Southern state court for lynching a Black human being. And that banks redlined prospective Black homebuyers. And that trade unions would not admit skilled Blacks for membership. And that public schools segregated and offered a third rate education to Black students. And so on. It would strengthen our multiracial democracy going forward if we fully faced and acknowledged the racist aspect of American history. Not doing so is continuing a form of emotional indoctrination for those parents who would prefer that this salient chapter in American history be withheld from their children. Because critical race theory posits that American institutions embraced and perpetuated racial injustice, the York County Board of Supervisors appears to be reinforcing the tenets of its scholarship. David Meyerholz, Virginia Beach Congressman Rob Wittman has on many occasions voted to display party loyalty over the public’s best interest. A new low was reached when he supported the minority interest that portraying the killing of a congressional colleague was acceptable if he or she had conflicting political views. Walter Zadan, Williamsburg Re “Wasting away on the water” (Nov. 21): The story about abandoned boats in our region: How ironically appropriate that the director of the only agency apparently doing anything about this problem is named Karen Forget. The things we have to thank the Biden administration for are astounding. Fuel prices have risen well over a dollar a gallon. The Southern boarder is wide open with who knows who and what coming into this country. The price of consumer goods is rapidly rising. The ignorant way the withdrawal from Afghanistan was conducted has the world looking at us as has-beens. We have product shortages because ships are anchored in ports unable to get unloaded. We have politicians trying to spend our great-grandchildren’s money. A vice president who will do nothing. A president who won’t take questions from reporters. All this, and all the president wants to do is promote a vaccine established by his predecessor. James Silves, Newport News As we continue the revision of history, perhaps we should tear up the Constitution and Declaration of Independence as these documents were written by slaveholders. This country was created by those same slaveholders who rebelled against the British crown founding this country in the first place because the colonists felt their voices were not being heard. The Southern states felt the same way as the start of partisanship took hold and the radicals of both sides, then as today, determined the fate of us all. Those who believe in working together are pushed aside. All the states have contributed to the founding of this nation and its gradual expansion to the south and west, as well as to the Caribbean and Pacific. All races and nationalities have contributed to this gradual transformation, some by force. If we are to tear down some statues, we should tear down or remove all statues from public places and only allow memorials that reflect all those who sacrificed for what this country has and can become. Larry Wexler, Virginia Beach
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