#817 – Dick Bernard: The Eve of Peace as a real Possibility.

Yesterday as I leafed through the Minneapolis Star Tribune I noted the obituary of John Eisenhower, the son of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commander in Chief of the Allied Forces at the end of WWII, and later two term President of the United States. John S.D. Eisenhower001
What especially drew my attention was this comment, made about young Eisenhower’s aspirations on graduation from West Point in 1944: “John Eisenhower hoped to see combat as an infantry platoon commander, but his father’s fellow commanders, Gen. Omar Bradley and Lt. Gen. George Patton, feared the impact on his father if he were killed in action or captured. He was assigned to intelligence and administration duties in England and Germany.”
That there was concern about Eisenhower’s emotional reaction if something happened to his son is not surprising. What did surprise me was the expression of very human feeling by two high level commanders about their even higher level commander was specifically mentioned in the obituary itself. Perhaps that is why the on-line obituary differs from the print edition linked above. We like our war heroes to have a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude.
But War kills, in more ways than just physical death.
All who have ended up in battle somewhere, or lost a friend or relative to war, know this.
Just last Friday, I had displayed models of the USS Arizona and the Destroyer Woodworth DD 460 at the local Caribou Coffee, and a lady came up and recalled her Dad’s visit to Dachau after the liberation of that horrible death camp at the end of WWII.
She said he never wanted to talk about what he’d seen.
I asked for her address, and later that same day sent to her a recollection of a visit to that same camp, at the same time, by another GI who, his niece told me some years ago, was tormented by the experience for the rest of his life. His writing and photographs are here: Omer Lemire at Dachau001
Within Omer’s text is this quote: “…we received word (posted on the bulletin board) from Generals Patton and Eisenhower, encouraging us to visit newly liberated Dachau Camp in order to witness for our children and grandchildren the horrible destruction between human beings…”man’s inhumanity to man”. I believed that we would be witnessing a historical event but had no idea what I was about to experience. This singular event changed me for the rest of my life….”
Tomorrow is Christmas, and celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace.
This season, for the first time in a long time, I see significant openings for the pursuit of peace, in small and not so small ways. I referred to this in my December 7 post, here.
The route to Peace is rough and ragged, but it is certainly a better option than staying on the rutted path of War, the practice to which we have too long been accustomed.
In all the ways you can, make this season truly a season of Peace.
Merry Christmas.
Today, relook, or look for the first time, at the recounting of the Christmas Day Truce during World War I. There are many writings about this. Pick one or more from this menu of choices.

2 replies
  1. Shirley Lindsay
    Shirley Lindsay says:

    We have been interested to note that so many of our Christmas cards received this year have PEACE as the theme.
    The more we raise it up as a goal the better the chance we will experience it in our own lives and on a wider base thru-out the world.
    It is a way to really mean it when we sing: JOY to the WORLD!


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