Aspiration by Bishop Eric Matsumoto at “Remembering Pearl Harbor: Honoring Our WWII Heroes” presented on Zoom, December 7, 2020
RENE MANSHO: And please welcome a compassionate community leader, always promoting interfaith endeavors. Bishop Eric Matsumoto of Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii will open our program with a special aspiration message. Bishop?
BISHOP MATSUMOTO: Thank you, Rene. As we gather for “Remembering Pearl Harbor: Honoring our WW II Heroes,” please join me to deeply reflect and embrace an aspiration.
While Pearl Harbor does preserve the bravery, the courage and the sacrifices of our WW II Veterans — which it should for a long time — its message also focused on the causalities and loss. However, a new age is evident and even during and following the suffering and atrocities of war that man afflicted on man, we can find noble examples of the human spirit.
Let us recall to mind the honorable action of the USS Missouri’s first Captain, the Captain William Callaghan who conducted a sea burial for an enemy Japanese pilot and the kindnesses shown by many American soldiers to Japanese civilians and not to mention the bravery and loyalty of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the 100th Battalion, MIS and others. Also, let us not forget the sentiment of those Japanese pilots who in 1987, came to Pearl Harbor to pay their respects to Americans who had been killed during the attack on December 7th.
Today, as we remember some of those horrific tragedies of WW II, so that we do not commit the same mistake again, let us also not forget to be inspired by human potential. Let transformation happen that is the transforming of a negative into a positive without denying what tragically took place. May that so called “day of infamy” and the painful years that followed be transformed into an age in which humankind attained a new plateau of mutual respect and an aspiration for the peace and happiness of all peoples of all nations. Let us acknowledge the showing of mutual respect and the aspiration for reconciliation by the soldiers and veterans of both our Nations. Today, let us honor and express our gratitude to all Veterans-our heroes of WW II as they, now, lead us down the road to reconciliation and world peace.
May we be guided and inspired by All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion.
Namo Amida Butsu