I strongly support and congratulate Mayor Dave Weaver’s stand in not supporting the other four Glendale City Council members in their decision to establish the Korean “Comfort Women Day” and to permanently display the Korean comfort women statue in Central Park.
I believe that the City Council’s actions will not “elevate the city of Glendale as the city that promotes and champions human rights,” as asserted by Alex Woo, president of the Korea Glendale Sister City Assn. Rather, it may raise questions, especially in the minds of young people, about honoring some of those Korean women who may have chosen this work for financial and/or patriotic reasons; more importantly, it will enhance the ill will that still exists among many people toward Japan and will involve Glendale and the U.S. in what is a very sensitive diplomatic issue between the two Koreas and Japan.
I have been a persistent critic of Japan’s dehumanizing wartime “comfort women” system and supporter of the international move to condemn it; however, as a veteran of Wold War II, I believe that wartime is an abnormal time with abnormal happenings and that people should not hold grudges forever.
If the goal of the display of this Korea comfort woman statue is to emphasize human rights, it should widen the scope of its concerns and provide a broad historic display of the denial or infringement of human rights, including the murder of Jews by Nazi Germany and other atrocities. Examples abound.
Hallam C. Shorrock