As we come to the end of November, a month during which we honor our veterans and military, two recent pieces in TGI prompted me to respond.
The first article was captioned “World warned of ‘old demons’ rising again.” It reports on the recent meeting of world leaders who have the power to make war, but a duty to preserve peace. They marked the end of World War I when millions of folks were killed 100 years ago. Those old demons seem to be rising within our own leadership whose attitude is nationalism (me first and the hell with the rest of the world.) This attitude is Making America Hate Again.
There was a time when our military fought and killed British, Germans, Italians, Japanese and even each other in the Civil War. Those demons were rampant then.
However, eventually peace prevailed and we are now allies. Folks came to their senses and dedicated themselves to strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people. The atrocities of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and our own Civil War should not be repeated. We should not play the blame game. Instead we should join together in the peaceful celebration of life.
Our goal should be “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” In Hiroshima Peace Park, at the base of the statute of Sadako Sasaki, the little girl who died of leukemia from the atomic blast on Hiroshima and who became a symbol of world peace, are the words, “This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world”.
The second article seems critical of our military proposal for training exercises in Hawaii and suggests eliminating our military “like Costa Rica did.” I believe that we should think of our military as an asset of peace keeping and deterrence to war instead of as an asset of war.
We are all connected. We are all the same. The Preamble of our Constitution tells us that All Men are Created Equal (regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion and color).
Aunty Pilahi Paki said:” “The world will turn to Hawaii as it searches for world peace because Hawaii has the key. That key is aloha!”
I close with a quote in the December 2018 American Legion magazine.
“We human beings were created for lives of peace but find ourselves living in a dangerous and often destructive world, and so we depend on the strength of the military to resist evil and create conditions where justice and peace can thrive. It’s like the Marine who once said to me, “Chaplain, if you were doing your job better, I wouldn’t have to be doing mine.
“Another chaplain put it this way: the world only needs two kinds of people to keep it safe and at peace, warriors and chaplains. The chaplain calls the world toward nonviolence as the only way to heal a terrifying violent world. The other, the warrior, does God’s work by defending civilized society and those who are vulnerable. Our world needs both prophets of peace and responsible warriors. As my friend said. ‘The chaplain is needed to keep the warrior honest, and the Marine is needed to keep the chaplain alive.’”
Jim Jung is chaplain, American Legion and Marine Corp League.