where are the peacemakers?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.    (NIV) Matthew 5:9

As a younger ( admittedly, I was thirty-one years old) Sailor, I had brushes with questionable people and groups.  In Pensacola, Florida since I was trained in the use of various firearms and owned a few different weapons,  I had on occasion gone to a shooting range in the rural red-clay part of Escambia county.  One Saturday, I came home  to a message on my answering machine inviting me to join the Klan!  I never responded. It wasn’t something you mocked in person.  I presumed they got my home phone (this was long before cell phones) from the sign-in sheet at the range.   On one occasion,  when a black community group – I’m assuming a church group – would picnic in a local park,  I would notice a couple of large pickup trucks with very ‘white’ occupants  would cruise by slowly.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. John F. Kennedy

With the whole country worked up into a frenzy over Trump, cultural identity, destruction of historical places, names and monuments, and social media,  I have to confess I have never been ashamed of my race, ethnicity, education, religion, gender, sexuality nor veteran status.   In the last forty years, I have been a card-carrying member of several national organizations: the Navy,  the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW),  Fleet Reserve Association (FRA),  National Cryptologic Veterans Association (NCVA), Tin Can Sailors, the Navy Memorial Association, and  the American Legion.

There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.   Abraham Lincoln

I can only speak specifically to my experience over forty years in the military and industry, that the least tolerant of different opinions, least skilled in critical thinking, and least appreciative of the benefits and blessings of the United States, are generally the ones raised and taught by non-veterans.  I served with and was mentored by some of the most professional, inspiring, and capable leaders, female and male,  black, hispanic, asian, and white.  I would march into hell itself with these role models leading me.  When there needs to be leadership, from the local school board, up to and including the White House, the military-trained leader needs to step up.

Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. Harry S Truman

***  5, U.S.C. 3331 codified in 1868, that all Federal employees take an oath to work within the bounds of the Constitution, to support the government and not to circumvent it.  It was part of the healing process to re-unite the defeated Confederacy.   Part of the oath states support for the Constitution and to oppose all enemies, “foreign and domestic”.

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