It is very rare to be asked by visitors from foreign countries if they can take my photo, but it happened two days in a row over the Labor Day weekend. A woman who had just finished visiting the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with her teenage son on Sunday afternoon asked if she could take my photo with him as I stood in uniform holding my peace flag outside the neighboring Cleveland National Air Show at Burke Lakefront Airport. Of course I obliged and encouraged her to circulate the picture as much as possible. Noticing her accent, I asked where they were from and she said “Israel.”
Late yesterday afternoon while standing at East Ninth Street and Carnegie Avenue greeting people heading to Progressive Field for the Indians-Twins game, a young man asked if he could take a photo of his friend with me. There was only one answer to that question, of course. Noticing his accent, I asked where they were from and he said “Mexico.” While walking toward me for the photo, the friend said to me, “My friend” and I immediately said, “Mi amigo.” As with the mom from Israel, I asked the photographer to circulate the photo as much as possible. Since I will be cremated I won’t have a tombstone, but if I did my epitaph should read, “He had a Passion for Peace.”
At various times to various people over the weekend, I said, “We need to stop invading other countries and killing their people and destroying their property. We did that for 20 years in Afghanistan and for a dozen years in Vietnam. How did that turn out? Lots of death and destruction but billions of dollars of profit for war contractors, euphemistically called defense contractors.
“Senator John McCain, who slaughtered God-knows-how-many Vietnamese with his airborne weapons, said the United States is a Christian nation. What a sick joke that is. The Prince of Peace would be spinning in His sepulcher if He were still there. We are not followers of the Prince of Peace. We are following the God of War.”