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Park is wrong place for new 'comfort women' statue

August 16, 2013

Re: The Korean “comfort women” statue installed in a Glendale park: Memorials and statues that encourage division between cultures demean the people they propose to represent.

The people victimized by war include both sides to any conflict and the suffering inflicted is inflamed by public displays created to remind us of the atrocities we all abhor. The governments of warring nations dictate the terms and conditions that the citizens must endure during conflicts and the people have little say in what transpires. Evidence of that are these statues themselves, erected and installed in public squares and parks with no concern for who is harmed or affected by their presence.

Did Glendale politicians ask themselves if this commemorative symbol would increase the trust and understanding between Asian communities? The empty chair is symbolic of the lack of conscience and empty gesture of politicians pandering for votes without consideration for the citizens they represent. My father was a wounded veteran of the Korean War and I forgive the people of Korea completely, as did he, a brave American that endured a life of disability. We strive to move forward from that terrible moment in time, not live and languish in the aftermath of political folly and human suffering. We should remove the callousness of government by removing this obstacle to cultural cohesiveness. If politicians wish to commemorate the harm governments create, let them place these statues in the courtyards of city halls and the entrances to buildings where the decisions are made to start these wars. Let politicians bear the brunt of their mistaken decisions that kill and maim the citizenry or that divide the people they are sworn to serve.

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Daniel Rey
La Crescenta

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