Category Archives: Peace

Sadness and Tears on Memorial Day

by dianeravitch, 5/27/19

Let us pause and remember the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the military.

The older I get, the more I hate war.

I despise those who see war as a political tactic, those who stir up war talk to get votes.

Those who drop bombs and fire missiles to raise their poll numbers are contemptible.

There is evil in the world, for sure.

I saw it when I visited the “killing fields” in Cambodia last year.

There is a high school in Pnomh Penh that was turned into a torture camp by the Pol Pot forces.

The walls of the school are lined with photographs of hundreds and hundreds of men, women, and children, taken just before they were killed. Horrifying.

It is our challenge to be on the side of kindness, justice, charity, love, and forgiveness.

That may be hard. But in a time when so many nations have weapons of mass destruction, we have no choice.

“We must love one another or die.” (W.H. Auden).

He also wrote, in another version of the same poem, “We must love one another and die.”

Both statements are true.

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End Homelessness Rally, May 4, West Chester


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Hoping Mr. Costello is inspired by Gen. Butler

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 1/14/15

I was happy to have a letter in the Daily Local News on 1/9/15.

Ryan Costello, is the just-elected member of the US House of Representatives for PA district 6. Michael P. Rellahan’s article “Ryan Costello set to take seat in 114th Congress” in the 1/3/15 Daily Local started out:

The politicians from West Chester who have served as U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District hold remarkable and sometimes colorful biographical histories.

Like the private in the U.S. Army during the Civil War (Smedley Darlington, who served from 1887-1891) and grew to be a banker and the eventual grandfather of a military man known as the “Fighting Quaker.” Or the businessman who began his career (William Everhart, 1853-1855) in Congress 30 years after surviving the sinking of the ship Albion off the coast or Ireland.

Or the war veteran (John Hickman, 1855-1863) who led the impeachment hearing of a federal judge from Tennessee in the 1860s; and the Everhart scion (James Bowen Everhart 1883-1887) who supplemented his work as a Harvard-educated attorney by publishing works of poetry, notably “The Fox Chase….”

Yes, Costello joins a distinguished and varied roster. Time will tell whether he will be serving the public or his party.

I felt called on to react after Mr. Rellahan mentioned Smedley Darlington Butler….

continue reading at Politics: A View from West Chester

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We must get out of the business of making war

letter, Daily Local News, 12/12/14

I find myself in sharp disagreement with Sunday’s editorial, “It’s Time We Learn From Our Past Mistakes.” It is not lack of preparation for the next war that is the mistake, because preparing for war is part of what guarantees that war will come. Rather, the mistake lies in not realizing that war itself is our main enemy.

I like George Santayana as a philosopher, but I like his Harvard colleague William James, on the topic of war, much better. James was a pacifist who realized that war has its allure and that we need a “moral equivalent of war” (a war on poverty or grotesque inequality might be one example) rather than the “injuring contest”— as Elaine Scarry has aptly called it — which war essentially is. This nation has had far too many wars in its history, and while not forgetting the sacrifices of those who have served, we must work to get our country out of the war business altogether.

F. R. Struckmeyer Chester County

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