When we arrived at New York in June, it had been 8 years since I was there and 6 years since Susan was there. We hadn’t been keeping up with all the reconstruction proposals in the last couple of years and we didn’t know how far along was the progress. We decided to take a quick tour of New York City and drove by the Ground Zero. It was still completely surrounded by fences and nothing seemed to be erected yet. It was still typical New York–no place to park–so we didn’t stop to take a closer look. I didn’t remember what was the winning design to replace the World Trade Center but I hoped it was something to bring peace to the world.
I used to be involved in an organization that brought attention to the Nanjing Massacre/Rape of Nanjing (War World II) until one day it struck me that it might not be a great idea to constantly remind everyone of the wrongdoings. Yes, it was horrible and we shall not forget it. But… Every year, around the early December, the animosity toward Japanese always rises due to all the attention from Pearl Harbor related activities. In America, the bombing of Pearl Harbor was the central theme of World War II with Japanese but the atomic bombing of Hiroshima was what they remember in Japan. I know history is supposed to be important so we don’t make the same mistake but each society seems to only want to remember the part of history that they were being slighted. By doing so, we propagate the hatred instead of love. No wonder it is hard to have world peace.
Image the following: you have two kids and one of the kids set up a shrine or memorial to remember the day that the other sibling did something bad to him/her. As a parent, you would probably not recommend such of an action. So taking this to a large scale, by stressing memorial where others did wrong would not seem to be a great idea. I don’t know. I am always struggling with this consequence of studying history. It should do us good but it often doesn’t. Why did we study history then? Wouldn’t it be great if U.S. has a memorial for Hiroshima and Japan has one for Pearl Harbor? It would be more appropriate because it would remind us the things we did wrong to others so we don’t do it again? Perhaps we can have world peace someday. What do different religions tell us to do in this respect? I am curious. I remember a Chinese proverb about only remembering the good things others do for you but forget the bad things. Shouldn’t we all do that? But perhaps we would be all eliminated by Darwin theory if we were so naive.