Last year ended with a display of remarkable understatement.

After nearly a decade of war in Iraq, the troops came home for the holidays, as promised by the president.

There were no ticker tape parades as in the days of yore.

There were no banners that proclaimed victory.

The year that commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor must be our new starting place for remembrance of our civic obligation and a vow.

This is the beginning of a new starting point for the United States of America. Since World War II we have been at war with minor blips of short duration.

We must wage the political fight for peace first, war last.

Far too often, we permit our elected leaders to make a decision otherwise without our advice and consent as if we live in a far-away place like Iraq, where a history of democracy is non-existent.

Ask any soldier to talk about what matters most, and you will hear the happiness in the heart to be home. The soldier teaches us because the soldier knows better. It is the soldier’s simplest expression of the word peace.

— The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, Dec. 25


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