The New Message from God teaches that our world is emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. Students of Steps to Knowledge, like me, are instructed to take an inventory of our thoughts and feelings regarding such an idea. As I pondered this, what came to me is that in order to make this transition successfully, humanity must overcome its divisions of ethnicity, nationality and religion. I’m not trying to say they should be erased, but I am trying to say they should not be considered worthy of killing people and breaking things. If I believe this, then I wish to recall peace much more than war.
I wish to recall peace much more than war
I have a modest proposal. I consider war memorials to be part of the problem. Even a victory is a funeral. Both China and South Korea condemned the recent visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Yasukuni Shrine was condemned as a justification of war And yet, people need a way to remember the courage and gallantry of their countrymen who served in war.
I wish to recall peace much more than war. If it were up to me, I would put a statute of limitations on war memorials. I would require that war memorials be removed a certain number of years after the war began. For example, I would require that all American Civil War memorials be removed, as all the combatants are long gone. Why do we wish to look fondly on a failure? We should not celebrate a war, even if we won; we should rather regret that we were not able to prevent the war in the first place. Abraham Lincoln expressed this sentiment to a certain degree in his Second Inaugural Address.
“On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.”
I wish to recall peace much more than war. And yet, it has been brought to my attention that as an American, I have a certain interest in letting the past speak freely, without filtering or censorship. Therefore, perhaps my original proposal isn’t such a hot idea. I have a second proposal, and I hope this one is better. The proposal is to create memorials to peace treaties between nations. Here are some examples.
I wish to recall peace much more than war. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814, ending hostilities between Great Britain and the United States. The United Kingdom and the United States have been at peace for over 201 years. Now that’s something to celebrate! I would like there to be monuments to that peace in both London and Washington. Furthermore, I would like there to be memorials in places related to the war. Since the United States attacked Canada during the War of 1812, I believe the city of Detroit, so close to Canada, would be an excellent location for such a peace memorial.
I wish to recall peace much more than war. On April 8, 1904, the United Kingdom and France signed the Entente Cordiale (“cordial agreement” or “cordial understanding”) ending centuries of hostility and rivalry. The United Kingdom and France have been at peace for over 111 years. Now that’s something to celebrate! I would like there to be memorials to this in both London and Paris. I would like there to be memorials to this in Dover and La Havre. I would like for April 8 to be celebrated in England and France.
I wish to recall peace much more than war. On September 17, 1978, Israel and Egypt signed the Camp David Accords, ending 30 years of various levels of hostility between the two nations. Israel and Egypt have been at peace for over 37 years. Now that’s something to celebrate! I would like there to be memorials to this accomplishment in both Jerusalem and Cairo. I would like there to be a memorial somewhere along the border between Israel and Egypt. I would like this day to be celebrated with bourekas and rugelach, with roz bil-laban and qara’ ‘asali..
I wish to recall peace much more than war. I believe you get the idea. I realize this is a dream at this point. Of such I dream, my world! And yet, it is a beautiful dream. It is a little dream on the way to the greater dream of a unified humanity. I hope that when you see me, you will find me working on this dream.* * *
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