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Letters to the Editor

March 31, 2014

In Your Opinion: Let's give up violence for Lent

For some, Lent is a time for reflection, soul-searching and repentance for unrighteousness.

Some deny themselves something pleasurable, perhaps ice cream, to symbolize their contrition.

Whether Lent has any meaning or not to you, this is a time for Americans to repent the never-ending violence we seem to accept with very little thought. Although the government plays down civilian deaths by drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as only in the single digits, the true number is many hundreds of innocent women, children and elderly. These attacks are outside the realm of law, unscrutinized by Congress. These drones hover over villages, terrorizing the population. The media report nothing, so we, the people, are ignorant of the savagery committed in our name. 

Hancock Air Force Base in Syracuse is home to the 174th attack wing of the U.S. Air National Guard. It is one of more than a dozen bases of operations for drones. There have been a few dozen people who have peacefully protested drone attacks, only to be arrested and sentenced to jail time and fined. It is time we, the people, make known to our congressmen and women that we deplore such violence in the name of national security. Killing innocent civilians only begets acts of revenge and makes us less secure.

Perhaps we need to meditate on Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech warning us against three major evils: poverty, racism and militarism. He also said “Silence is betrayal.”

Ellen St. John


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