Helping the foreign children of GI fathers

Your Aug. 30 article "Mothers' helper ... when GIs behave badly," regarding abandoned half-American children, brought back memories I had almost forgotten.

I was an American secretary at Tachikawa AFB, Japan, during the occupation. The Japanese were very loving and kind to their own children, but half-Americans were outcasts. Those babies were left in railroad stations, etc., unwanted.

I visited a home near Tokyo where a group of French nuns had rescued a large number of these babies with practically no resources to take care of them; two might be in an orange crate in danger of rolling onto each other; makeshift everything.

I asked the military authorities at the base where I worked if they could do something for the children who were all fathered by members of the American military. I was informed no fraternization was allowed, so there were no children. I went to a chaplain and he said all he could do was provide Bibles for them.

I felt the men had let me down - the fathers of these innocent children, the military men in charge - so I turned to the women. I wrote, through The Boston Globe, the News Tribune of Waltham, Mass., and my minister at home, an open letter to all the mothers, wives, sweethearts, and sisters of those military [men] serving in Japan, telling them what I had found. I also asked for their help since it could be their loved ones who had caused this sad situation for which they would not assume responsibility.

The response was truly magnificent: Medical supplies, food, clothing, bedding were sent to the children. I hadn't thought of it for years until I read your wonderful article. Thank you.

Jean Lewis Ormond Beach, Fla.

Keep Jerusalem free of embassies

The Aug. 21 article, "Folly of embassy move to Jerusalem," by John Cooley, has it right. It would be so wrong to move our embassy to Jerusalem, called a city of peace.

Such a move would continue to support the strife between the residents down through the years, not contribute to peacemaking.

Jerusalem should be a city open to all three monotheistic faiths, all claiming special significance with sites there.

For many years, Geneva was under the protection of the League of Nations. Conferences working on issues that endangered world peace were held there. Could not some solution be worked out for Jerusalem and the world?

A few years ago, a meeting was held in Washington of leaders in the Middle East, academicians, religious and political leaders, and all interested in justice for Jerusalem and its neighbors.

Support was expressed by all speakers for a Holy Land State Committee. It was not a viable idea apparently, but an idea that might be possible for the city, to keep it free of embassies, politics, and free for all to enjoy visiting the places dear to the history of their particular faith.

Jean Snyder Greenbelt, Md.

What about Gore's problems?

Regarding your Aug. 31 editorial "Not just Cheney's problem": It's a good point that business money is running both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates' tickets.

So why is it that none of the press sticks Al Gore's Occidental connection in his face whenever he talks about the other side's connection to "big oil."

I'd say there's been considerable conflict of interest there over the years. Even you did not mention it in a discussion on the subject.

Mark Chally Littleton, Colo.

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