To the editor:

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, a day like Dec. 7, 1941, that will go down, in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's words, as a day of infamy, the United States of America, though shamed in the world, was saved by a uniquely American institution -- the U..S Congress. Though much has been said and written about the terrible events of that day, little has been said, or written, about the good.

I came to this country on the 12th of February, 1939, two months shy of my seventh birthday, a refugee kid from Nazi Germany who could not speak a word of English. For seven years, from 1951 to 1958, at the height of the Cold War, I proudly wore U.S. Air Force blue, for most of that time, stationed just two miles from the Iron Curtain separating East and West Germany, expecting war with the Soviet Union at any moment.

All my life, when warned by friends and family, especially during the Trump years, that a Hitler-like event could happen in our country, I always said, no, not in the United States of America.

Last Wednesday night, after the carnage in Washington, I watched the Congress go back to work to confirm the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, not only a woman but a woman of color, and daughter of immigrants herself. I listened carefully to many of the five-minute speeches in both the Senate and the House, many of them very good, and I knew right then and there why what happened in Nazi Germany could never be repeated here.

It is because we have the Congress of the United States and they had nothing like it!

And the Congress of the United States has saved the United States ... and our democracy.

But not our reputation in the world we once fought for, bled for, died for and led. That shredding will take a long time to mend. We had better start down that road soon.

Warren Salinger


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