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Community: Poor attitude at Day of Peace
Sunday, Sept. 21, was International Day of Peace. Churches and groups gathered together the world over to celebrate the possibility of peace. On that day prayers were on the lips of many in this time of dangerous global warfare.
In Coupeville approximately 20 local citizens stood on the corner of Highway 20 and Main Street with signs, smiles and good thoughts. Many of the participants were the same folks who stood there three days a week for eight months last fall and winter in an attempt to avert the chaos that we now see in Iraq.
Most of the cars that passed by tooted and honked, giving a cheery approval to the notion that peace is not only possible but vital. But one man stopped for the light, rolled down his window, and asked, Do you all live in Coupeville? The crowd responded with a friendly, Yes, we do. He replied, You make me ashamed to live here.
His reply took many of the demonstrators by surprise. What did he mean? How could he be ashamed to live where his neighbors are in favor of peace in the world?
None of the signs or sign holders were criticizing or demeaning anyone.
What did he think the signs meant? What did he think the commemoration of International Day of Peace was about? What was his interpretation?
People may disagree on how to accomplish peace in our time. But, surely, everyone wants to live in a world free from fear and destruction. We are proud we have military personnel in our family. We love them. We respect them and honor them. We are also grateful they have come home from Iraq safe and sound. We would pray that each and every one of our brave troops would return to their homes safe and well. However, we understand that will not happen. When a country is at war, some will not return and others will return with injuries both physical and psychological.
It is hard to imagine a heart and mind that does not want peace. Surely our neighbor misunderstood the message of those on the corner.
Jack and Sue Tingstad