I looked out the window of my office and saw the construction workers were just standing around in a daze. The drive home took more than two hours; it normally takes 45 minutes. The needle was almost on “E” but long lines of cars snaked around the gas stations. Somebody yelled out his car window “WAR ! WAR! WAR!”
That evening my best friend called from the other side of the world.
Early the next morning I wrote a letter in response:
I have fervently hoped that I would never see war again during my lifetime, and I maintain that same hope now. I worry that people of Arab descent will be targeted for malice and hatred during the weeks to come. Every time I hear somebody say, “This is just like Pearl Harbor again,” I am reminded, painfully, of the treatment of Americans of Japanese descent during the second world war.
The news only got worse. Later I received a word that a friend’s daughter was missing. He and his family drove directly to the site to lend a hand.