To Doves of Peace by Sam Younghans

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DOVES OF PEACE
by Sam Younghans
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August 14, 2006
DOVES OF PEACE
by Sam Younghans

I see a scenario of a great battle that is about to begin. This is to be the battle of the century. Millions of people will view this event on their television sets.  Thousands of armed troops line up on either side of a great battlefield, ready to go into battle.

They are in this battle because of politics and self interest groups on both sides. The soldiers know that many of them will be dead at the end of this day, yet because of their indoctrinations and beliefs in patriotism, they go forward to death, believing it is for a good cause. No one told them that what they were dying for was money and power.

The troops on both sides begin moving forward into position to attack. They can see each other as they move closer towards the approaching battleground. Suddenly a hush falls over the whole area. Two beautiful, white doves circle in the sky, swooping over the heads of the soldiers, first on one side, then on the other, finally, they set down in the middle of the battleground - they are courting. Suddenly, there is a sound of beautiful music - it is an old world waltz. The doves move to the sounds of the music.

The advancing troops stop to behold this beautiful sight. They lay down their weapons and sit on the ground watching the doves. There is a strong feeling of peace, permeating the battleground. The troops on both sides begin humming and swaying to the sounds of the waltz. The male dove is strutting around his mate with his feathers all ruffled up. The troops cheer; there are tears in their eyes.

The Commanders, who are watching from a safe distance, only see the troops sitting with their weapons on the ground. “What is going on? Get those men off the ground - they must fight!” Immediately, orders are dispatched; the troops ignore them. They wave to each other and they are laughing with happiness.

Hate, instilled by the authoritarians, is dissolving, replaced by an acknowledgment of each other. Some of the men are calling to the doves; others are walking towards each other, their weapons left behind on the ground. As they converge, they shake hands and embrace each other. They watch as the two doves fly off into the sun. A huge cheer bellows up from the, would be, battleground. There will be no killing today. A rainbow appears in the horizon.

The millions, who watched on television, applaud and cheer. Never in the history of the world has so many tears flowed. Could this be the end of war? Why not? What greedy politician would dare mention the word “war,” let alone suggest starting another war? Those sad individuals will have to find another source of income.

We are most fortunate to be living in this perfect world. If we stop our authoritarian, dichotomous thinking, we might even make this planet a paradise for every "Cosmic" on earth. Who knows, it might even spread out into the universe.

Peace and love, from a "Cosmic"

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THE ASHLAND PARADE
VETERANS FOR PEACE
by Sam Younghans

Today is Wednesday, July 6, 2016, two days after the Fourth of July parade in Ashland, Oregon - a day I will never forget. I told myself I will have to write about that day sometime in the near future. The future is now.

Oh, I could go on about "what you do now determines the future," but we all know that information. Therefore, I will begin this story when I finally decided to get out of bed at 8:30 this morning. I was determined to start writing again. I write my fiction stories for the workshop and other stories, but not about my life, something I have been putting off longer than I like. My plan was to walk around the block for my exercise for the day, and then to my laptop.

I had my cellphone with me, so when my Daughter, Candace, rang me, I was happy to hear from her. She called to wish me a happy morning. When I get a call from my children I have a happy day. We immediately began talking about the Parade; the subject of this whole story. I told her I was going to write about my experience when I had time. Her response was, "Dad, You have time. You have all the time you want." She was right, and at that moment I decided to turn on my laptop instead of my iMac and start writing. Thus you are reading this now. I was trying to decide how to write this as I was walking around the block. I decided that our phone conversation covered practically every thing to do with the Parade. I will jump back and forth, but if you have read any of my stories, you will understand; that is just my way.

I am a Korean vet, fortunately I never made it to Korea, but I met and spoke to many who returned from that horrible action, called war. At one point, Candace asked me how I got connected to the "Veterans For Peace" (VFP) organization; it was the organization I marched with. I told her that Don Chapin, a close friend of mine, told me about them. I went to one meeting in Medford, but because of my timing, and dislike of driving (another story) I never made it to any other meeting. I was on their newsletter list, so I knew what was going on. When I read about the need for help from Veterans at the up and coming parade in Ashland, I emailed them, saying I would be there to help. I went to help - little did I know what would happen.

I knew Siskiyou Blvd. would be blocked, so I mapped a way through the hills to get there. When I reached the area where the VFP were located, there was a parking spot on a side street where they were situated - so my day was already working for me.

I went over to the VFP van and introduced myself to the men standing around the van. Told them I was there to help. One of them told me that they had this large dove (it was on the street in front of the van.) that had to be carried by four men. Since I am looking my age these days (86) they didn't think I would be able to last through the whole parade.
They said they needed some younger men. There were only about four or five members there, and they were all older men. Just then my Daughter, Candace appeared. Since Candace has been working on her "Heart Warrior" project, and had been working with Veterans at the VA Hospital, some of the men knew her. I was not surprised to see her, although I had not told her I was going to help the VFP. When Candace heard they needed three younger men, she immediately got on the phone and called her boyfriend, Ben Morgen, who was visiting two of his college buddies. They had been celebrating their reunion.

I was talking to Candace and two VFP members when two fighter jets roared overhead. These fighter jets must have been the latest design for war. Tears filled my eyes. Candace told me she saw them bubble out. I tried to speak to one of the Veterans, but my words became bubbles. What I finally said was, "That wasn't needed! They are telling us we are ready for another war." My tears were not out of appreciation for their gesture, but for all of those killed and maimed for nothing more than political greed and selfishness. This changed my whole body and mind.

The three young men appeared just as the parade was ready to start. They picked up the dove, and each took one of the four positions. Candace took one of the poles that held up the left wing. She made up the fourth member of the Dove of Peace. One of the VFP men told me to go in front of the dove, and then, we began the long march to the other end of Ashland. I have never walked to Ashland, and thought it was too much of a walk for me before now. Now I was going to walk about three miles lined with supporting people on both sides of the street.

On the phone, I asked Candace, who is always after me to stand straight, and not hunched over, as I have a tendency to do, if she noticed how I walked. She said, "Yes I did. Before we started I told you to stand straight." We were about three blocks up a side street, so when we entered Siskiyou Blvd. the main street, leading to the other end of town, I was ready to march. Those two military jets had readjusted my mind. I was not there as a human, but as a representative of Peace. I knew I had a long walk in front of me, but I was going to do it, and I stood straight.

As we continued down the street, I was aware of the distance we were going, but I was not in my body. Because I drove down this street every time I went to town, it was familiar. It seemed as if I were in a dream. I noticed the area we were in, and the next thing I knew, we were in another area, and closer to town. People were cheering and applauding as we walked by. Ever so often I would turn around to see if I was moving fast enough for them. At those moments I saw Candace, doing her part. It made me feel so proud, that I was unaware of everything around me. It was as if she and I were the only ones on the street - no parade watchers or cameras.

This is a memory that I will carry to the day I move into the spirit world, and hopefully, long after.

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