December 7, 1942
WASHINGTON – President Franklin D. Roosevelt appealed to an unsettled nation Monday to honor the memory of the December 7 attacks by hewing to the values of diversity and tolerance. "We will not sacrifice the liberties we cherish or hunker down behind walls of suspicion and mistrust," the president declared.
Speaking from near a fireplace at the the White House, the president reminded the nation that we are not at war with Japan or Germany, but with only a tiny minority of extremists within those countries.
"It was not Japan that attacked us one year ago, but violent elements within the Japanese navy. It would be wrong and immoral to paint all of the Japanese people, or indeed, all of the German people with so broad a brush of intolerance," said Roosevelt.
"The aircraft carriers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku, and Zuikaku are the enemy, not the Japanese people" said FDR (photo courtesy of The New Duranty Times)
"As Americans we are not — and never will be — at war with any so-called Axis," the president said. "It was not a belligerent foe that attacked us that December day — it was just some fringe Japanese Navy personnel, a sorry band of men who perverted peace."
This year, as Americans and Europeans find themselves under attack all over the world from tiny elements of extremists from within both the German Wehrmacht and the Empire of Japans military juggernaut, common bonds rekindled by the memory of the December 7 attacks threaten to fray. There seems to be growing suspicion of German and Japanese agents in America, and controversies about a planned Shinto temple at Pearl Harbor and an Ehrentemple in Washington, D.C. have some radical Americans up in arms.
Roosevelt said that the plan by some crazy, fringe bigots to burn copies of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf is directly responsible for German retaliation against Poland, France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Britain, and anywhere else extremists who have perverted peace have defended themselves against Fascistophobia.
"Those ignorant, intolerant Americans who would so callously burn the German Holy Book are the real enemies of peace, not the Nazis or the Japanese Empire" Roosevelt concluded.