So much heated rhetoric back and forth on both sides of the argument about the necessity for war. On and on
it goes, each side believing it is in the know and in the right. The righteousness of the positions of each side plays out
each evening on the various news programs and shows. You can read and follow it in the newspaper. Call- in talk shows invite
the less powerful to participate and share their opinions.
There has always been debate, but increasingly there is staunch polarization of opinion and rhetoric from the politicians.
You hear stark opinion from the left as well as the right. What is one individual citizen to think or to do? What can one
person do about what political leaders decide must be done?
During the Vietnam War there were a number of U.S. troops stationed in South Korea as the backup military divisions that
often were transferred to Vietnam when their units were dispatched. Young men in their late teens and early twenties found
themselves in an unfamiliar culture and country playing the part of soldier, sailor, or airman. One day at a missle site something
went afoul and a large warhead began to poise itself for launch. The huge rocket lifted from its bed and moved to a 45 degree
angle before troops noticed what was happening and took control of the near auto-launch. Two young soldiers noticed it. The
situation was brought under control, fortunately. How many times has this happened? Who knows? We were present to witness
it this one time. No one in Washington heard about it, we're sure. The difference that time was determined by two men in their
late teens who halted the progress of a potentially lethal launch. They made the difference, not the politicians or government
While we are busy arguing the whys and wherefores of military engagement, young soldiers busy with their own personal
battles and struggles are "manning" the missles which could deliver death to those within their targets. It could be a mere
malfunction of equipment or the lack of attention to detail which ignites a war. The whys and wherefores may not even matter
on a given day and in a given place.
It often comes down to those most immediately present in the situation, rather than to those "talking heads" in whatever
position of "power" they may be.
In the final analysis, the unsung heroes are the individuals who are present when a crisis occurs and who take action
to curtail, transform or halt it. What can one individual do? Bring perspective to a heated argument. Invite both sides
to listen. And perhaps, at any given moment,stop a rocket from launching. You may have the opportunity to do that this very
Peace to you this day. Peace.
"May God hold you in the palm of "his" hand..."
So ends the familiar Irish Blessing...you know the one, "May the road rise up to meet you..." It has been embroidered
on wall hangings, printed on greeting cards, painted and framed in any space or spot in need of a gracious welcome or farewell,
often to guests coming and/or going.
The feeling of peace permeates the blessing and a gentle warmth pervades the soft images of rain falling gently upon
fields, and wind always at one's back. The promise is that the receiver and the sender of the blessing will "meet again" and
until that time, "May God hold you in the palm of "his" hand."
The wish of goodwill to a fellow traveler sends us on our way and promises we will return to meet again. Its an embrace
in words. We can carry the promise of that embrace within us, and we can share it with those we meet as part of our commitment
to peace along the way. We could hardly do better than to hold that promise in our hearts and minds and share it with those
we meet on St. Patrick's Day and every other day. "May the road rise up to meet you".
Peace to you this day. Peace.