Thank You, Congressman Lantos

Congressman Tom Lantos
400 S. El Camino Real
Suite 410
San Mateo, CA 94402
June 19, 2007

Dear Congressman Lantos,

I write to you with great respect and gratitude. I have been working with 121 Coalition in support of House Resolution 121 since Prime Minister Abe spoke on March 1, 2007 and denied the Japanese Imperial Army’s responsibility to the 200,000 women and girls who were abducted and subjected to systematic rape and enslavement during WW2.

As a writer, a scholar and an activist who believes in the dignity of human life, I have been diligently campaigning and educating almost everyone I meet about the stories of the surviving “Comfort Women” of WW2. By now you’ve received many letters and documents from me. In May, I joined Annabel Park from 121 Coalition and Eric Byler and together the three of us conducted a major outreach to the Filipino American community in your district.

I cannot tell you how pleased I am to hear your announcement, that your committee will be marking up House Resolution 121 on June 26th. Thank you! With you guiding the bill through Congress, I know that we are certain to have a positive outcome.

These past few months, 121 Coalition has had a great opportunity to talk to Americans and share with them the beautiful and tragic stories of the women who have come forward with such great courage. What I am hoping is that through the knowledge of these women’s experiences and through this opportunity to reconcile and forgive, we, as a global community will learn to better honor, respect and care for one another. More than anything else, this is an issue of human rights. Thank you for seeing this bill through.

In two weeks, I return to Manila to continue my research on the lives of the surviving Filipina “Comfort Women” of WW2. I am excited to bring them your great news. When I talk with them, what seems to matter most is that their stories be recorded and used to make a better future. They are so old and they fight so hard, yes, for their own peace of mind, but also for the well being of the daughters and granddaughters of all people. One of their favorite sayings is, “Never again.”

Thank you for your great work, seeking justice, equality and the dignity of human rights.

Sincerely and with great gratitude,
M. Evelina Galang