I am a veteran, and on July 12 my wife and I visited the Ft. Snelling
National Cemetery, in the process of making our end-of-life preparations. As we approached the entrance, we were left speechless by the cemetery's
over-whelming size; we subsequently learned that upwards of 200,000 are buried there.
One of the first things that came into my mind was something written by the Greek historian, Herodotus. As a front line observer, Herodotus chronicled the events of the Greco-Persian Wars, and this is what he wrote: "In times of peace, children bury their parents. War [so] violates the order found in nature that it causes parents to bury their children."
So many, many of the headstones at Ft. Snelling are inscribed with details related to the Spanish American War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. War does indeed violate the order found in nature and causes parents to bury their children.
In June of 1927, Aristide Briand (Foreign Minister of France) approached the United States Secretary of State, Frank Kellogg, proposing a pact between our two countries which would renounce war as an instrument of national policy. Sadly, the pact was ineffective because none its 62 signatory nations would enforce it.
Then, between the end of his second term and the inauguration of John F.
Kennedy, President Eisenhower warned us that what he called an industrial-military complex, formed between defense contractors and the armed forces, would siphon our nation's resources away from other critical areas, such as education and health care.
As the fall election draws ever nearer, and lest we repeat history's mistakes, it behooves each of us to critically analyze just where our presidential candidates stand with respect to war vs. peace, and where they weigh in on the inexorable consequences of each choice.
Buzz Marzolf, Hudson