War and Peace

War... I cannot remember a day without it, and I will be 68 years old in October. If we are not directly involved, we are supporting one faction or another in some part of the world. Countries go to war over land, over religion, over perceived slights.. just the damnedest things. Young men and women get slaughtered and maimed in the wars, while old men (and women!) use them as pawns in the games of power. It has been like this since the beginning of time, and I fear that it will always  be like this, as long as there are humans on this planet. 
  We war not only over religion, but over different sects in the same religions. We war over borders, or to prove who is the biggest and baddest in the world. Who is the most powerful, or who will determine how the rest of the world will live. We war because some little wannabe Cossack wants to bring back a system and an empire that collapsed under it's own weight. We war because people resent one another because of religious differences. We war over energy, political differences, ethnic hatred, and for reasons no one can even fathom. It's a sickness with we humans. We just cannot seem to get along. 
  The carry over of our war-like society goes right to our streets. How can we expect our young people to respect life and live peacefully when those who set the rules  set the example of sending young men and women out to kill each other for their purposes? We bemoan the killing on our streets, when this is only a reflection of what is happening out in the larger world between people that should be brothers and sisters. Because of this, the slaughter of our young people continues at home and abroad.
  Fanatics slaughter people as a way to terrorize others into bending to their will. They bring down plane loads of innocents, who have nothing to do with their grievances, just to strike terror into the hearts of all that would oppose them. They crash planeloads of innocents into buildings because they want to bring the body count ever higher in the name of their twisted interpretation of God.
 Why can't we have a society where, instead of leaders rattling sabers and trying to show the world who is the most powerful, they vie to see who is the most peaceful, and who can do more to make the lives of the people that they represent, better? Why can we not really show that we are a 'humanitarian' race? 
  We will never know peace as long as we have people who claim to be 'Leaders' constantly rattling sabers and thumping their chests. We will never have peace until we learn, as a people, to accept each others differences. Until we do, we will forever be warring with each other, and this is a sad, sad thing for the entire human race.
  One more thing.... why is it that many, though not all.... many, who are always calling for war on this one or that one,  are the same ones that, when they should have served, took the cowardly way out and refused to serve... finding ways, most of them dishonorable, to avoid serving and going to war, when people like myself, and many who were sacrificed on the field of battle, served without question? It just boggles my mind.
  I wish for you all a peaceful future. I hope that my grandchildren will live to see a time without war. This is my wish for all. 
 Love and Peace 
John Zaffino, July 18, 2014
Kent Lakes, NY

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