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Page 24
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Forming a Peace Media Group

By Barry L. Reece

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During the heated Clinton/Trump presidential campaign, I saw TV coverage of a Trump rally held in rural Iowa. Many of the persons in the audience were holding signs that read "Silent Majority Stands With Trump." I immediately had a flashback to 1969 when President Nixon used the term silent majority during a major address to the nation. It was his belief that the great body of Americans supported his war policies and those demonstrating against US involvement in the Vietnam War were only a noisy minority.

Today our leaders are shallow on the subject of war. They are silent. War is terrible, but our current leaders will never speak the words spoken years ago by Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower: "I hate war."

The peace movement desperately needs a stronger voice. My recommendation is that we form peace media groups (PMG) across the nation. In 2012, a small group of North Carolina peace activists formed the first Peace Media Group serving Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and other nearby communities. The goal was to write and publish letters to the editor in local newspapers. Each letter would focus on an anti-war topic or issue. Our PMG, numbering less than a dozen persons, has had 350 letters published since the group was founded. These are short letters, numbering 100 to 200 words. Members of our PMG meet a few times each year to discuss our efforts to give the peace movement a stronger voice.

Barry Reece joined the Iowa National Guard in 1953. Two years later he enlisted in the US Army. At the time he was discharged, he held the rank of Specialist 3rd class. Throughout the past fifteen years he has been an active member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace, and the Peace Media Group. He has published several peace poems. Reece is Professor Emeritus at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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