Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 30, 2013

Searching for the most good and the least collateral damage


— Thank you for the pictures and story on the front page (March 21) regarding the weekly Wednesday event at the corner of Main and Lincoln.

Sometime ago I occasionally took part in that event. Part of the reason for doing so was that it seemed to me to be more of a reminder/witness to pray rather than a protest. I have never taken part in a protest.  

The top of the big sign that is held up each week is a call to mourn the dead. The second line is a grim reminder of the thousands (at least 6,676 the day of the picture) who have lost their lives in the conflict. Seems to me we could/should mourn no matter how we feel about the rightness or wrongness of the wars. The times I was there, we prayed by name for each family who lost a loved one.

The third line is a reminder that the soldiers aren’t the only ones who lost lives. So we prayed for all civilians/victims whose families we had information about.  

The fourth and fifth lines suggest another way to solve problems. I remember from history class that the U.S.-Canada border was arrived at without armed conflict. Then Canada and Britain were able to solve their relationship problems without armed conflict. And didn’t India achieve freedom from colonial rule by Britain without armed conflict?

I am thankful to be a citizen of this country. ... Another way I can show my thanks as a citizen of a country that allows freedom of speech is to offer suggestions on how to solve problems we face as a nation. That includes speaking out forthrightly and listening respectfully to others as we work to achieve the most good for the largest number of people with the minimum amount of “collateral damage”.

— Vernard Guengerich

Goshen