Not all the wounds of war are visible. According to the Brown University and Watson Institute “Costs of War Project” in a paper published in June 2021 there have been an estimated 30,177 suicides in active duty soldiers and veterans since post-9/11 wars compared to 7,052 killed in war operations. The authors discuss possible contributing factors including high exposure to trauma. Others come home with PTSD and moral injury. Even drone operators have been affected.

Exposure to trauma is visible. Our post-9/11 wars have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, almost all people of color, and many civilians at a cost of trillions of dollars. To paraphrase and then quote from President Eisenhower, every dollar spent on war is “a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” and we would add today a theft from monies needed to address climate change.

In 1938, Congress dedicated the 11th of November to the cause of world peace known then as "Armistice Day,” changed in 1954 to Veterans Day. Recently seen in a Veteran art studio: “Peace is the only adequate war memorial.”

President Kennedy warned at the United Nations on Sept. 25, 1961: “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”

We would best honor our soldiers and veterans and life on planet earth by ending war for good. It is possible. We just need the political will.

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Rich Van Dellen, Rochester