Letter: Evacuation

To the Editor:

By the time you read this the U.S. will have passed the president’s deadline for evacuation from Afghanistan – 119,000 as of this writing. We will have gone to plan B if there has been one. As to whether or not the removal of thousands of people could have been done better, somehow, I will not argue either to explain or to shame, but to remember.

For Vietnam there is the vivid image of helicopters snatching people from a rooftop. Remember in 1940, Dunkirk? That involved over 300,000 from May 27 to June 4. In 1945, at the end of WWII, there were 10 million so-called Displaced Persons in Europe to evacuate; we gave it the softer name of resettle. To help, in a small way, with that gigantic task, I arrived in Germany in 1950. I don’t have a record of how many we put on board those ships to sail to the U.S., Canada, Australia, etc., but the numbers were still huge. I do have a photo of a long line of people boarding a ship. Thank goodness it was peaceful. It looks just like the lines we saw at the Kabul airport of people boarding those large cargo planes.

We will soon remember 9/11/2001, which had so little evacuation of the two towers. Again, I don’t have answers to the questions that are raised with every evacuation, but it is well to honor those involved with our remembrance.

The day this paper is to be published we will remember Sept. 2, 1945, when Japan signed the peace treaty ending WWII.

Rev. Bob Dell

Sandwich