The 60’s. I was a teenager. It was a fascinating and eventful time to be young. I wish I had paid better attention. The world and especially the United States was full of turmoil. The assassination of JFK in 1963 was a traumatic incident for our country. People openly wept in public in small towns and cities alike. It was a shared tragedy like none other. And it was just the beginning.
The 60’s were full of unrest, maybe the most unrest since the Civil War. For the first time there was widespread protest of war on foreign soil. My parents didn’t understand it. They were from the WWII era where most supported the United States War efforts and did everything they could to support the troops and each other.
The 60’s were rampant with racial unrest. Blacks wanted to attend the same schools as whites. Blacks demanded equal voting rights and simple rights like using a public restroom or riding a bus. It was difficult for me to understand all of this. I lived in the Midwest in farm country. We had one or two black families in our school district. They were friends and neighbors. I really didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. But I watched the news and saw white people throw things at black students and spit on them. I watched as thousands of people marched in Alabama demanding equality. I read about the Ku Klux Klan and the deaths of innocent young black men and women. It was as foreign to me as life on Mars.
During the year of my high school graduation, 1968, all hell broke loose. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were both assassinated within months of each other. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago turned into a bloody mess. It’s hard to even imagine that all of this happened. And as a young adult, I felt sometimes that the world was crashing down around me. We were on the eve of destruction.
My generation has been called the Peace Generation. We were not the first. From the beginning of time there has always been a Peace Generation. People prefer peace to violence. No one wants to send their sons and daughters to war.
In the 60’s I felt pretty helpless to change what was happening all around me. As a college student, I attended rallies and peace marches. I signed petitions and sang protest songs. I felt like I was making a difference. I was young and optimistic.
I taught my children that fighting was wrong. I have remained silent to avoid confrontation. I don’t know if that was the right thing to do. I have joined the Bloggers for Peace to continue conversations about Peace. There are so many wars going on in our world today. Not just battles and armies. Battles of prejudice and acceptance rage daily. I can’t control the armies of the world, but I can make a difference by speaking out and acting out against all types of prejudices. So that everyone can have Peace.
If you want to know what the Bloggers for Peace is all about, check out these links: