It certainly gave me pause to think about what I should be thankful for this Christmas...If you can just put things in context as pertains to you, or someone you know, it certainly helps you to see things with a little more clarity.
"Peace on Earth"
I woke this morning to a news segment focused on how our troops abroad are celebrating their Christmas Eve. Soldiers in Iraq playing flag football, in Afghanistan preparing their Christmas Eve meal, and in the DMZ of Korea staring down North Korean soldiers on the border. During the commentary, Fox News displayed a graphic with pretty little snowflakes and the slogan "Peace on Earth." It got me to thinking on this my 24th Christmas Eve, our country has been actively at war someplace on earth for more than one third of my lifetime.
It just doesn't make sense to me. For decades the United States has been making war to obtain peace, and so far it has not been a very effective strategy. 2,962 of my peers have died in an effort to bring peace to Iraq, including two of my friends and former classmates. Over 22,235 have been wounded, including my friend's little brother who took a sniper's bullet to his spine and will never walk again. At least 51,475 Iraqi civilians have died in our effort to "bring peace" to their country, and countless British, Australian, Canadian, Italian, Dutch, and Spanish troops have met the same fate.
This is no longer a political issue, this is a common sense issue. Our political leaders, Republican & Democrat alike have sent our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and friends into harms way. Now after seeing no progress in our quest for peace, and admitting so, they are discussing raising troop levels around the globe. In my opinion this is like trying to fight a forest fire with gasoline. How can we obtain peace by inciting more violence?
Since 1950, 54 countries have hosted at least 1,000 American troops. Today we have 36,600 troops in South Korea 50 years after the end of the Korean War. Will things be different in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are we setting up permanent military bases around the world? Shouldn't our troops be here, defending our homeland? I say it's time to bring America's sons & daughters home for good.
"Peace on Earth" is printed on Christmas cards, and countless beauty pageant contestants have wished for World Peace. Don't you think it's time that we actually contemplate the meaning of the phrase and actively pursue it?
Today I will attend chuch for the first time in many years, and I'll be praying for peace. Peace in my home, in my workplace, in my country, and on earth. I ask you to join me in my prayer and work to make sure that "Peace on Earth" isn't the empty Holiday phrase it has become. I leave you all with the words of some really famous guy from the 60's: