National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers
Tears, Remembrance and Reflection as a new Milennium Arrives
A Peace and Justice Statement
The National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers, meeting in Seattle, WA, and after prayerful reflection, issued the following statement addressed to veterans around the world:
As the twentieth century staggers to a conclusion, reviews of the events of the past 100 years assert that we have lived through a bloody century of war. As veterans of one of these wars we cannot disagree. From the highly censored warfare of the beginning of the century to the living room wars which allowed observation of bombs falling thousands of miles away, the one common denominator of our centuryís wars has been the blood shed by both warriors and non-combatants.
As human beings and spiritual partners, we regard with horror the toll of life exacted by the wars of the last century, measured by the rivers of blood that have stained our collective souls.
However, as this century concludes and the new millennium begins, we are compelled to offer a word of healing and hope. When we focus solely on the horror of war, we forget that in quantity another fluid outstrips all the blood that has been shed, for though the rivers of blood have rushed through the last century, sweeping away so much that was precious, vast oceans of human tears shed have created healing and hopeful puddles for the human spirit.
Tears have been shed for that which we have lost: friends and comrades, youth and innocence. Tears have also been shed in thanksgiving for deliverance, and in joyous homecoming and reunion. And thoughtful tears have fallen as we have met one another at memorials, battlefields, and work, sharing stories and dreams, speaking to one another words of comfort. We affirm the awful reality that the flow of blood ceases when death comes and life is over; but also we assert that the flow of tears over the many years is a mark of life, healing, and hope.
Brothers and sisters of the veteran community of the world, it does not matter whether we once regarded each as other as enemies or as allies, or whether we were neutral observers of each otherís particular conflict, we invite you to actively affirm this season of tears, this time of remembrance and reflection, so that through our voices and witness this new century and millennium fast approaching may begin as a time of healing and hope.
If you wish to associate with this statement you may do so by either writing to us at the address of the letterhead or by signing our guest book at our website.
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©1999-2004 National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers, now serving veterans as the International Conference of War Veteran Ministers. All Rights Reserved. The National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers is a registered trademark. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. NCVNVM is funded by membership dues, donations, and major grants from organizations believing in our work. Contact information for officers and webmaster on separate page. This page last updated October 20, 2004