Pre-Note: In 2008, Mary Lou Nelson (in pink). a long-time advocate of the United Nations and peace-making, donated a favorite sculpture to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The sculptor, Chester Comstock, had originally named the Eagle, “Hunter”; Mary Lou re-christened the work as “Messenger of Peace”. Of course, the eagle can fit both definitions. Look at the eagle talons on a $1.00 bill. The eagle still flies at its adopted spot outside the main building of the arboretum.
Tuesday, Nov. 11, is Armistice Day (aka Veterans Day), and my friend and colleague Larry Johnson is going to do an 11 mile walk ending at the State Capitol area, with he and colleagues ringing 11 bells, 11 times at 11 a.m., replicating Nov. 11, 1918, when the supposed “war to end all wars” ended. If you wish to join him on any part of the walk, he plans to leave from the Minneapolis Main Post Office at 6:30 a.m.; be at Court West, 2610 University Avenue, about 7:45 a.m., and at the Capitol steps at 10:15, where those assembled will walk down to the Liberty Bell by the Veterans Service Building…continued at the end of this post….
Larry and I, both military veterans, are among the billions of people who think war is insane. Few would disagree. At the same time, while peacemakers are everywhere, we seem all but invisible: enemies and war and their relatives, like fear and resentment, are always reliable sales pitches, dominating thought and conversation..
Over the years I’ve gotten to know, or know of, many peace people.
Most recently, I received a recollection about a person few would know, whose name is Lucy Law Webster. She was honored at the Citizens for Global Solutions national gathering last weekend. I may have met her one time. Here is her recollections (a dozen most interesting pages), brought home by one of our local delegates, a very impressive recounting of a life for international understanding and peace: Lucy Law Webster001. Her memories are newly minted. Her awareness began right before WWII.
An earlier hero in the same organization, Stanley Platt, began noticing things when he was an elementary school child during WWI. He wrote about this in his own brochure about 1986: Stan Platt ca 1986001.
Heroes will always continue to come forth. At AMillionCopies the page is dedicated to Lynn Elling and Joe Schwartzberg, each military veterans, each of whom contributed tens of thousands of hours to the cause of a better world. In my present day, a hero is Jim Nelson, who has devoted over 50 years to groups like the United Nations Association (UNA) and Citizens for Global Solutions MN, whose most recent project was a year long project funded by the Minnesota Historical Society to preserve the history of the UNA.
The list goes on and on in the present day – men and women.
50 years from now, somebody will come across some archival memories of others, as each of us in todays world become someone’ future voice of history.
If you’re been thinking about getting active, here are some places to begin. Especially, if you’re in the range of local public television TPT Life (Minnesota) check out the film on Garry Davis, World Citizen #1, “The World Is My Country. Sunday, December 8, noon. This is an important film, a celebration of peace, spirit and determination, and full with food for thought.
Armistice Day (continued)… In a Guest column for the Sun Post Newspapers, Larry Johnson expanded on his thoughts. The entire column is here. He emphasized these paragraphs from his column: “Before the bells ring [on Tuesday] read this statement: “The Armistice of 1918 ended the horrendous slaughter of the ‘war to end all wars.'”
When the Armistice was signed on Nov. 11, exuberant joy broke out worldwide. Bells rang 11 times at that 11th hour for years, and then the practice faded away. Now we ring them again at that sacred moment, remembering soldiers and civilian killed in all wars. Further we resolve to work and pray for peace, until the assault on the will of the creator is over.“