“Peace! Peace! … There is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)

On the brink of nuclear extinction, and we do not have a clue as to the forces that are at work. The fact of our human existence is that there are two entities: love/peace vs. fear/hate and war. The world has succumbed to fear and war as a way of settling our differences.

I am a 99-year-old veteran of World War II and the Korean War. For decades I have pleaded with Congress for a Peace Department and a Peace Academy.

Instead, key government positions have been filled by Gens. H.R. McMaster, John Kelly and Jim Mattis; we have been given the Pentagon and a military-industrial complex, as well as military academies at West Point and Annapolis, the Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy and ROTC units, but we have no Peace Academy. Why not?

Take note of our present relationships with Germany and Japan. Let’s re-study these relationships. We have gone from bitter enemies to loyal friends. How this came about can be part of the Peace Academy curriculum. Can we replicate the same change with Iran, China, North Korea and Russia?

Millions of our fallen comrades cannot be allowed to have died in vain. We need to voice their hopes for peace, best expressed in John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields”:

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place …

We are the dead; short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high!

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.”

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Chellie Pingree, I beseech you: Be ashamed to serve until you have given us a Peace Academy and a Peace Department.

Coleman P. Gorham

retired Navy lieutenant commander

Portland