The true heroes are the peacemakers

To the Editor:
When a country chooses one group of people to say “thank you for your service” to; when a country chooses one group as their reflection of what it means to be a hero; when a country chooses one group  as an example of courage and strength, that country does three things.

It sets up its highest value within its society, it encourages the next generation to follow and wish to imitate that group, and it promotes a society of flag-waving robots focused on the bidding of their government — right or wrong.

Let’s face it: There hasn’t been a moral or righteous war since World War II. But we still honor those who gave their bodies, their minds, and their lives in wars that never should have happened.

We wave flags, say thank-you, march in parades but leave them homeless with little care as a manifestation of our non-guilt mode of using them as fodder for a patriarchal system of need and greed.  

We have condoned enlistment to the reasoning that, in the richest country in the world, it is a great way to get an education; it is a great way for someone to give focus to their lives; and it is the most honorable profession to raise one’s self-esteem, hence removing the need to make education available to everyone and providing mentoring programs for our youth, etc.

Of course we sadly in our global society still need a military but we need to balance our value system.  We need to honor other segments of our society as heroes, such as journalists, teachers, and health-care workers, to name just a few.

We need to spend our money to create societies that are whole as people, with problem-solving skills that don’t entail weapons and battles. We need to reflect on what we teach our children — to put down their fists, their sticks and stones, and learn how to solve their problems with words, with a depth of spirit, with solutions that hold.

War is not the answer, war creates war, and true heroes are the peacemakers.

Joan Storey

Guilderland

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