Today I join Mimi Lenox at Mimi Writes for the 5th launch of Blog Blast for Peace. Please visit her website and read how Blog Blast for Peace came to be.
I grew up during the 1960s, which was a time of unrest in the world. Many Canadians had volunteered to fight in Vietnam. It seemed that the last three decades were steeped in war. WWII, Korea, Vietnam. All cost thousands of men and women their lives.
Along with Vietnam came so many other atrocities. Assassinations, race riots, the shooting of students at Kent State University... these are all trademarks of the 60s when violence ran rampant throughout the world. The Berlin Wall, where anyone who tried to cross to the west was shot down. The Cold War... All of these things are forever etched in my memory.
My first confrontation with this type of violence was when I was in grade 8. The phone in the principals office rang, which was very unusual during school hours. Mrs. Smith came back to tell us that President Kennedy had been assassinated.
This was the era of Civil Rights. Riots broke out several times during the decade of the 1960s - the worst being the Newark Race Riot. People were dying at the hands of their fellow humans and there didn't seem much that could be done abouti it.
Dr. Martin Luther King was a great man. He fought for equality for Blacks and Dr. King had a dream.
Unfortunately, Dr. King never saw his dream realized. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
Robert Kennedy was the brother of President John Kennedy. Robert detested organized crime and he too had a dream. On June 5, 1968, he too was assassinated.
As the 1960s came to a close I prayed that this would be the end of the violence, but the Vietnam Conflict was in full swing. On May 4, 1970, the National Guard shot into a group of student protesters at Kent State University. This became known as the Kent State Massacre. Four students were killed and nine were wounded - one who had permanent paralysis. So the craziness continued.
When we finally thought that things had settled down, a lone gunman shot John Lennon outside of his New York apartment on December 8, 1980. Lennon had sang several songs urging peace on earth. One of his greatest was Imagine.
Still, that wasn't the end. On March 30, 1981, just a little over three months later, an assassin tried to take the life of President Ronald Reagan. He was not successful.
Since then we have seen Desert Storm, 911, which resulted in troops being sent into Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and of course, the war in Iraq.
Yes, I have been a witness to history during my life and it's not a history that I am proud of. It seems every decade there is something new to fight about. My opinion is that this is sparked by greed and fear, for we fear that which we don't understand.
I am proud to say that my grandsons witnessed one of the greatest historical moments in the history of the world. They saw Barack Obama become President of the United States. Who would have thought, back in the 1960s, that an African American would ever become President. How proud Dr. King would have been.
We have taken a step forward. Whether you are in favor of President-Elect Obama or if you are of another political persuasion, it doesn't matter. A great stride was made when he was elected and we all need to stand behind him.
It's time to Give Peace a Chance, as John Lennon wrote so many years ago. To do that, we must have peace in our hearts. We must not clench our fists and profess to love. We must find peace in our hearts for only then can we pass it on to others. ~Blessings, Mary~