My apologies to all who attempted to access my blog last Monday. I was unable to post last Monday as I had technical difficulties with my computer, as I was traveling outside of the U.S. I will be posting twice next Monday to make up for the lost entry. I have no way of accessing it until I return to my office. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the following entry, which I wrote when I was 10 or 11 years old. My point of view on this issue still stands, despite a more mature understanding of the complicated nature of war and peace. Enjoy.

I am proud of my country, the United States of America. The reasons are great ones. First, this is a free country. If I lived in a communist country, I would be unhappy. Second, America is a prosperous country. Although there is a population explosion all over the world, our country is not too little for its people. It has food and clothing for everyone. In our country, you can get a good education and a job. Third, I am proud to be an American because our country helps other countries and tries to prevent trouble in other countries.

 I live in a country where impossible dreams are possible. My impossible dream is to become a doctor and invent a cure for the common cold. I would marry another doctor, who would invent a cure for cancer. In a country where the impossible becomes true, why can’t we figure out a way to end war?

Some people believe that war is often necessary and unavoidable, but I don’t understand why they believe this. I think you can find more sensible ways to solve problems, even between states and nations. It just comes down to negotiation and standing in the other person’s shoes. Talking usually helps, but what does war do? It kills people that would otherwise be of some help to the world.

It is true, however, that war brings out good qualities in people. Most people have courage when they face war, even though they may not think they have any. War brings out love and loyalty for country, but what is a country without its people? My ancestors fought in the American Revolution and the War Between the States [i.e. the American Civil War]. Some died in these battles. What might their contributions to the world have been had they lived? My great grandfather was four when the Civil War began. He hid in the fields when his house was burned to the ground by Union troops. People in my family and their friends fought in the World War II. They are proud of their loyalty to their country. Yet they lived, and I feel their contributions to the country were more after the war than before they fought. They were so young when they volunteered; my father was only 18, and my uncle was wounded. He had a machete knife lodged in his skull. These mental and physical wounds are the ones I know about—American ones. Yet these wounds happened on both sides, and they cause pain, which causes hatred that lasts beyond the war.

War remains a cruel and senseless business. Surely Americans have answers other than weapons. We have our words and our patriotism and our love for others. There seems to be no reason for war.