By Mort Malkin
An article in a recent issue of the Wayne Independent announced that the Museum at Bethel Woods was offering free admission to all military veterans. Veterans receive benefit from other organizations as well, chief among them the Veterans’ Administration Clinics and Hospitals.
But, why should peace veterans not be offered similar acknowledgement and benefits? Peace Workers may well be performing even greater service to the nation. You may fairly ask, “How would one achieve Peace Worker status?” Certainly Nobel Peace Laureates have already received recognition, but there are many more organizations that can validate such standing. Here are a few in our area: Wayne Peace, the Peace Academy at Liberty, Sullivan Peace and Justice, and one of the Society of Friends Meeting Houses. A selection of others in other communities include: the Dayton Peace Museum, the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, WILPF, World Beyond War, Another Mother for Peace, Code Pink, Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Granny Peace Brigade, and War Resisters League. The US Armed Forces will certify select individuals as Conscientious Objectors.
Peace work is actually more demanding than war. War requires that you just pull a trigger or press a button — boom. Peace needs patience, persistence, courage, creativity, and diplomacy. Frank B Kellogg, a Republican from Minnesota and co-author of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, said, “I know of no greater work for humanity than in the cause of peace, which can only be achieved by the earnest efforts of nations and people.”
Now, all the businesses and organizations that want to offer some benefit to veteran Peace Workers please form a line.