On June 6, as The Sentinel and citizens of the Monadnock Region paused to recognize the 75th anniversary of D-Day and to give tribute to the many brave young men who fought and sacrificed for our nation, it was encouraging to read the declaration of a young man of our present day who had the courage to express a forward-looking moral stand that may well be the only position to save a nuclear-age world from self destruction.
It was not many generations ago that the civilized world recognized the anachronistic character of the self-destructive “code of honor” whereby disagreements between men were settled by a dual to the death. I have reason to recognize the dire warning of the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that a continuation of past approaches to international conflict in our modern age of nuclear weapons can all too easily degenerate into a near-total destruction of human civilization. Let’s face the fact that the international pursuit of warfare as a means of settling disputes or resolving injustices is an anachronism.
Now is the time to focus creatively on all peaceful means of thwarting injustice, striving to meet human needs around the world before there is resort to violence, and acting to preserve all life on our fragile green planet. We need a new, world-centered patriotism that, instead of rivalry, affords dignity to the citizens of all countries around the world; we need a matured political will that can accommodate a united humanity.
Now is the time for citizens of the world to embrace the philosophy of Albert Schweitzer, namely, “Reverence for Life.” Thus, as a 90-year-old claimant of conscious objection to war, I now salute 17-year-old Thomas Greenough of Jaffrey for his courageous public declaration of respect for human life and objection to the “bad habit” of war. I sincerely hope he will inspire a new generation of youth to arrive at a matured world ethic.
ALLEN T. ANSEVIN
25 Mayflower Drive