The other day as I was twirling the radio dial in the car I happened to turn into the Curtis and Kuby show on WABC 77 on the AM dial. Curtis Sliwa, of Guardian Angels fame was inviting Ron Kuby, of attorney fame, to attend some Memorial Day observances.
Kuby’s response is where I happened to tune in. He explained to Sliwa that he does not go to any of the observances because he was against the Vietnam war and all conflicts through the ensuing years.
How very hippie of him.
And then I remembered — it was very long ago, in my own hippie youth, that I too put on a black arm band, marched, sat-in, and protested. I too did not agree with the war. After all we’ve got to give peace a chance. Thank you, John and Yoko.
But the world turns, and you grow. I still think that peace is better than war, but I have come to realize that peace is a very expensive luxury that someone has to pay for. The line in the sand costs so much more than most of us care to spend, but we want to enjoy it nonetheless.
It has taken me a fair amount of time to realize that in order for me to slap on that arm band, pick up a placard and march to the strains of “Give Peace a Chance,” someone somewhere, had to draw the line, stand to defend it, and shed blood for that line to be kept.
No matter how far back you go in history and no matter how many books are written, you can never really be sure what caused any American war. It’s not only hell — it’s complicated too. Theorists can cite greed, power, ego, but at the crux of it, it is the fundamental reason of freedom. Freedom to say what you want, do what you want, wear what you want, create what you want, and do it all in relative peace and harmony.
Not for Nuthin™ Ron, but you are free today, racking up the big bucks, living in a nice home with a nice 401-k plan because some young kid decided to be that someone who held that line. So the next time Curtis asks you to attend a Memorial Day observance, may I suggest you change your tune from “I don’t agree with war,” to “Curtis, I’d love to, because I am able to say what I want and be free because some kid stepped up, put his life on the line, and made the ultimate sacrifice, just so I can sit here in ease, freedom, and peace, and spout trash on the radio.”
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