The White Dove of Peace on Earth

In preparing to write this post, I was searching through some quotations on war. Here are several of my favorites:

  • Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come. ~ Carl Sandburg, American poet, writer, and editor
  • You can no more win a war than you can an earthquake. ~ Jeannette Rankin, first woman ever elected  to the United States Congress, in 1916, from Montana
  • War may be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other’s children. ~ US President Jimmy Carter
  • What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy? ~ Mahatma Gandhi

As most of us know, last Sunday, September 11, was the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States.

One of the “mantras” of that fateful day is “Never forget.” I understand how difficult it is to forget events like that, especially if you or a loved one were involved. But does it really do us any good to remember all the pain, horror, and sadness of that day?

One of the reasons the day lingers so painfully in the memory of so many (even those not directly affected) is the number of people who died in the attacks—2,996.

Granted, that’s a lot of human pain and tragedy for just a single event. But to put that number into perspective, the highest number of American deaths in any war was over 600,000. That was in the US Civil War of 1861 to 1865. But even that number is dwarfed by the many millions of deaths caused by all the wars down through the centuries.

My point is even one, single death is too many.

What I believe we must take away from September 11, and all the other wars over the centuries, is the utter futility of war. And also, the acknowledgement that peace truly begins with each one of us. Each thought, deed, or word of hate and anger we hold contributes to the wounding of the world. Each thought, deed, or word of love and compassion we hold contributes to the peace of the world.

Related post:
September 11, 2001

Please share your thoughts with us below.

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Copyright © 2016 by John Cali

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Each year on September 21 (next Wednesday) we celebrate United Nations International Day of Peace. In this video the legendary James Twyman, known the world over a The Peace Troubadour, sings May Peace Prevail on Earth. As he says, “Peace is not just a dream, but a vibrant reality that exists within each one of us.” James’s voice and music are mesmerizing. Enjoy!

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