Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

I wrote this in 2007... but is it still as relevant today? (imagine ... PEACE!!)

The summer of 1967 was one of the most vocal and radical in the history of America. Nationally, we were embroiled in political scandals, racial injustice - and a horrible war in Vietnam.

The country was firmly divided into two separate groups - Doves, who believed the war was wrong and that our military should pull out and come home, and the Hawks, who thought we should not only be fighting in Vietnam,
but maybe even take it a step farther and decimate China, who was allegedly bolstering the North's manpower.

Here in America, though, thousands of young people, who were turned onto peace, love and inner guidance, were rising up in protests of the fighting. Some history books will say they were "doves", while others say they were "high on drugs and Indian music." Many of us were there, and we were simply looking at it all with logic. Is peace better than war? Love than hate? Inner guidance better than outer control?

So they began putting the pressure on Washington - from sit-ins to open-air festivals to outright marches - and, by 1969, President Nixon began feeling the pressure and reduced troop numbers. Slightly over three years later, the war was over.

In 1968, the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King resulted in widespread violence and looting - a grim climax to the years of struggle for African-American equality. Once again, young, hip whites and blacks were on the scene, united in the cause of peace. And they knew they'd have their hands full: On the one, they tried to calm nerves of both blacks and whites; on the other, they protested the inequality loudly. From the streets of LA to Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, they took the message that Dr. King had conveyed time and again: that all people, of all races, should work together and given equal rights in this country.

The pressure eventually worked, and society slowly began to realize the importance of true, interracial brotherhood.

More important changes were made by the protesters and marchers. The voting age was finally lowered to 18, and women were beginning to be treated as more than sex objects - they were finally being viewed as equals in the marketplace, employment field and in places of authority.

Now it's summer of 2007. Forty years after-the-fact, we have a senseless war in Iraq. People are starving, tortured and/or murdered in the Sudanese province of Darfur. Gas prices are at an all-time high. Power and personal
freedoms are being wrested from the hands of the people by an Administration they've learned not to trust.

Yet, the baby-boomers - this same group that so valiantly championed the cause of peace and equality forty years before, and of which I am a member - have become largely silent, seeming to stick their heads in the sand and hide from our present national and world situations in hope that they'll go way.

What happened to the once-resonating voices of peace? Have large families, larger paychecks and the responsibility that comes with maintaining material security taken the edge off our active and vocal protest of the wolves at peace's door? At one time, we could - and did - change the political fabric of America. Yet, today, most of the protesters of yore are content to "let it slide" or have someone else do it for them.

We were willing to put it all on the line for peace - including facing arrests and jail-time. Now, at a time when our country - our world, for that matter - needs us to speak up, we've become strangely silent.

We have the greatest buying power, the most political pull, and the highest demographic of any other age group in the nation. Years ago, we had longed for the day when we would have the authority - the power - to change the world. Now that we have it, though, we're not using it. Has our spunk given in to complacency? Do we believe that, despite our values as young people, what's happening in this world is of no consequence to us?

Again, I ask the question: What happened to the voices of peace? Have we surrendered to the establishment at long last? Are we afraid - or, worst of all, so involved with ourselves and the money-machine feeding us that we just don't care?

It's time for every person who was ever a "child of peace" to answer that question.

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