Letter: Question to ponder: War or peace?I am a veteran, and on July 12 my wife and I visited the Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, in the process of making our end-of-life preparations.
By: Buzz Marzolf, town of Troy, River Falls Journal
I am a veteran, and on July 12 my wife and I visited the Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, in the process of making our end-of-life preparations.
As we approached the entrance, we were left speechless by the cemetery’s overwhelming size. We learned that upwards of 200,000 are buried there.
I thought of a profound observation made by the Greek historian, Herodotus. As a front line observer, he chronicled the events of the Greco-Persian Wars, and wrote: “In times of peace, children bury their parents. War [so] violates the order found in nature that it causes parents to bury their children.”
So many headstones at Ft. Snelling are inscribed with details related to the Spanish American War, the Civil War, WWs I and II, the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. War does, indeed, violate the order found in nature and causes parents to bury their children.
In June of 1927, Aristide Briand (France’s foreign minister) approached the U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg, proposing a pact between our two countries to renounce war as an instrument of national policy. Sadly, the pact was ineffective because none its 62 signatory nations would enforce it.
Then, between the end of his second term and the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, President Eisenhower warned us that what he called an industrial-military complex, formed between formidable defense contractors and the armed forces, that would siphon our nation’s resources from other critical areas, such as education and health care.
As the fall election nears, and lest we repeat history’s mistakes, it behooves each of us to critically analyze just where our presidential candidates stand with respect to war vs. peace, and where they weigh in on the inexorable consequences incumbent upon each choice.