I am a 100-year-old World War II veteran.

On D-Day in Sicily, our amphibious ship became stranded, unable to discharge its cargo while the other ships unloaded. Our ship, together with a nearby ammunition ship, was left alone. Soon the German dive bombers placed us in their cross hairs and all hell broke loose.

The dive bombers, like angry hornets, came at us with fury. Seventeen attacks were repelled before we were hit at midships at the water line. It exploded beneath us, bringing up tons of sand and water as high as the conning tower where I stood.

We watched the litter-bearers carrying our blood-soaked comrades to the beach for burial in shallow graves. The German bombers found and blew up the ammunition ship, creating a mushroom cloud. Bodies and debris fell to the surface of the water.

“Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul … and love thy neighbor as thyself.” And so, I ask, who is my neighbor? My neighbor resides on the street where I live. But also my neighbor resides on the streets of North Korea, etc.

From the beginning of our country, we have engaged in warfare with our neighbor. We have created war academies, which have failed to bring us peace. Our war academies have produced few leaders. Many of the generals have failed us. Gens. David Petraeus and Michael Flynn resigned in disgrace.

When you keep doing something over and over expecting different results, that’s insanity. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, you are part of this insanity when you appropriate money for a nuclear missile destroyer that is designed to annihilate our neighbors. I beseech you both to give us a Peace Academy. War academies must be balanced by a single Peace Academy. Let us stop the killing.


Coleman P. Gorham

Maine native and former resident

Birmingham, Ala.