VETERANS FOR PEACE: Educating Our Children for Peace – Our Legacy to Our Children
By Ed Sacco, Veterans forPeace, Asheville Chapter 099 July 4, 2018
Have we have become a fearful country “measured” by our relationship to weapons and guns? There is a connection between our reliance on wars abroad and guns at home. This is reflected in our active or passive support of the militarization of our youth and violence at home. The war mentality has not and will not secure our happiness. It blinds us to the common good of humanity. Is this our legacy for children?
Militarization brings fear and distress that diminishes our collective capacity for the true and the beautiful. Our military responses result in permanent “undeclared” wars and a global military presence in over one hundred countries as well the militarization of our police and our youth in Junior Reserve Training Corp (JROTC) programs in high schools.
I say “NO” to the militarization of our youth in our public schools. We can do better than that with the ideals that reflect peace. Alternatives to JROTC can be found throughout the country that build self-esteem and aid positive educational goals better than the JROTC program; perhaps not as as exciting to young students, but powerful in the effort to bring a better understanding of good citizenship, reconciliation, creativity, respect, empathy and compassion. In short, this would invest in our highest ideals.
The United States always has all the money it needs for wars and weapons, but never enough for public schools, low cost housing, universal health care; values that can make “America Great Again!” We can choose to become a beacon of hope to the world, welcoming refugees and a demonstration of democratic values serving the common good.
Educational funding need be increased for the needs of our children, not for a political ideology. The military does not encourage freedom of thought, love of others, equality, and the common good of humanity. This is a huge topic as it reflects our way of life for future generations. Should the army subsidize high school soldiering? Or, would it be better to subsidize teachers’ ongoing education and badly needed innovations in schools to inspire positive values for more people including teachers, parents, and the general public?
The militarization of our youth reflects a lack of faith in the goodness of humanity mirrored by those who suggest school teachers be armed and concealed weapons be allowed in public places including churches.
Let’s support the activists who demonstrate for peace and justice, the whistle blowers who shine a light on the truth, the conscientious objectors who refuse to participate in war, and religious groups who continue to shine a light in a prophetic manner and call us not to destroy, but to bring out what is best in our society and the world — to honor the sacredness of creation reflected in mature spiritual religions.
We the people can speak out and vote for a future in which our country will match our desire for guns with our moral restraint; our wealth with our wisdom; and our military power with empathy, truth, goodness, and beauty. One place to start is to support genuine conservative values by educating our children, supporting families, and respecting all who are in need.
May we live each day, gentle in words, compassionate of heart, and generous in love.