Quotes on Peace
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Bennett, James Richard (May 1999) in "Centers, Museums, and Public Memorials for Nonviolent Peacemaking in the US: A Visitors' Guide:" "Our warmaking country can be restored to peace consciousness through the guiding presence of the arts and sciences of peace studies centers, museums, parks, and memorials, public and private, which lead us to peacemakers and active peacemaking, These foundations inspire us to extend them until wasteland, war, and warriors become the smaller voice and vision."
Blunden, Edmund, about July 1, 1916, when 60,000 British troops were killed or woulded during the battle of the Somme: "Neither race had won, nor could win the War. The War had won and would go on winning."
Blair, Tony: "'If I win the Nobel Peace Prize, you will know I have failed." Said to George W. Bush as Blair commenced his diplomacy in the Arab--Israeli conflict. Quoted by Jay Nortlinger in "Peace, They Say." According to Norlinger, "that is maybe the most stinging criticism of the Norwegian committee ever made... Indeed, 'trying for the Nobel Peace Prize' became an expression of scorn and concern in hawkish circles. For some, a 'Nobel' kind of peace meant, and still means, a paper or superficial peace, not a real one."
Bliss, Chris (comedian & juggler, promoter of Bill of Rights monument in Phoeniz, Arizona): "WHY MONUMENTS? Monuments have a unique way of connecting us with our heritage, by showing each new generation exactly what the generations before them felt was so important that they literally carved it into stone. They play a key inspirational and educational role in passing along our most cherished values, making history visible, tangible, and unforgettable; especially for younger people."
Buddha: "Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without."
Carnegie Foundation, 2004: "If there was no such thing as the written word, the history of mankind could still be read from its buildings and works of art. In any culture in the world, architects and artists espress the stories of their time through their work. Stories of power, triumph and struggle, but also stories of peace, faith and justice. // The Peace Palace in The Hague is an example of such a building that writes a key, and largely unfinished, chapter in the history of mankind. A historic building that was designed over 100 years ago and that was built as the accomodation and the symbol for working towards peace and international justice." (Introductory words of "The Peace Palace," 48-page guidebook.
Einstein, Albert, January 1946: "Mankind's desire for peace can be realized only by the creation of a world government."
Einstein, Albert, May 1946: "Our world faces a crisis as yet unperceived by those possessing the power to make great decisions for good and evil. The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe."
Einstein, Albert, February 1950: "What can we do in the prevailing situation to bring about peaceful coexistence among all nations? The first goal must be to do away with mutual fear and distrust. Solemn renunciation of the policy of violence, not only with respect to weapons of mass destruction, is without doubt necessary. Such renunciation, however, will be effective only if a supranational judicial and executive agency is established at the same time, with power to settle questions of immediate concern to the security of nations."
Eisenhower, President Dwight D. [1890-1969], from "The Chance for Peace" speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." (On monument in Croydon, Indiana).
Eisenhower, President Dwight D. [1890-1969], from address to the National Council of Catholic Women, Boston, Massachusetts, November 8, 1954: "I say with all the earnestness that I can command, that if American mothers will teach our children that there is no end to the fight for better relationships among the people of the world, we shall have peace."
Eisenhower, President Dwight D. [1890-1969], from a TV talk with Prime Minister Macmillan, August 31, 1959: "I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of their way and let them have it."
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, on the dedication of a monument in Concord, Massachusetts on April 19, 1867: "A plain stone like this, standing on such memories, having no reference to utilities, but only to the grand instincts of the civil and moral man, mixes with surrounding nature -- by day with the changing seasons, by night the stars roll over it gladly -- becomes a sentiment, a poet, a prophet, an orator, to every townsman and passenger [sic], an altar where the noble youth shall in all time come to make his secret vows."
Gandhi, Mohandas K. (twice in the film "Gandhi:" Once to Mirabehn & once at the very end of the film): "When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always." (Or "There have been tyrants and murderers – and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it – always... When you are in doubt, that that is God's way, the way the world is meant to be... think of that.")
Gide, Andre: "We badly need symbols -- our imagination would perish from exhaustion if it did not have symbols on which to rest, like bird in flight has to have a perch on which to repose." (F. Gonzalez-Crussi (1993) adds "Our perches are flags, national anthems, memorial monuments, effigies, and tombs.")
Kennedy, President John F., in a letter to a Navy friend: "War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today."
King, Jr., Martin Luther, Letter from the Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are all caught in an escapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny."
King, Jr., Martin Luther, acceptance speech for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo: "It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it."
King, Jr., Martin Luther: "True peace is not merely the absence of some negative force, it is the presence of justice." 1897 - Woman's Building, Tennessee Centennial Exposition (now Centennial Park), Nashville, Tennessee (USA). No longer exists. Site (near the fair's full-scale reproduction of the Parthenon) is marked by a subsequent monument with a sphere on top. Its plaque contains two quotations by Mrs. Van Leer (Kate) Kirkman, President, Woman's Department: "That that is round can be no rounder"
La Fontaine, Henri: "People will be as before, the sheep sent to the slaughterhouses or to the meadows as it pleases the shepherds." La Fontaine (1854-1943) was Belgian Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1913.
MacArthur, General Douglas: "Could I have but a line a century hence crediting a contribution to the advance of peace, I would gladly yield every honor which has been accorded by war."
MacArthur, General Douglas: "The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
McKinley, William: "Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not in conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war." Address at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, New York, September 5, 1901, day before he was fatally shot.
Milton: "Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war."
Muste, A.J.: "There is no way to peace — peace is the way." (The early Christians were called "people of the Way" because they lived the way of Jesus. If the sharing of our faith is to have any integrity, Christians who say "Jesus is the Way" must embody "the Way of Jesus." The same is true of peace activists, Christian or otherwise. As Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. would often say, "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
Owen, Robert: "If we cannot yet recconcile all opinions, let us endeavor to unite all hearts."
Passy, Frédéric (Paris, 1888?) : "Le monde est fait d'utopies réalisées. L'Utopie d'aujourd'hui est la réalité de demain."
Riley, Rev. Meg, Senior Minister, "Quest for meaning," Church of the Larger Fellowship, UUA, May 2012: "Justice is not a giant abstrasction that will someday roll down upon us like waters, even though we sing out the ancient words longing that it will. Justice is daily, mundane, one breath at a time. Love and power are the tools with which we can bring it to life. May we practice using those tools daily."
Roosevelt, President Franklin Deleno, Chautauqua, NY, August 14, 1936: "I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war." (Inscribed at FRD Memorial in Washington, DC.)
Roosevelt, President Franklin Deleno, address to Congress after his return from Yalta, March 1, 1945: "The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one nation... It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world." (Inscribed at FDR Memorial in Washington, DC.)
Russell–Einstein Manifesto, London (England), July 9, 1955: "We appeal, as human beings, to human beings: Remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open for a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death."
Rustin, Bayard [1912-1987], as quoted on a plaque: "The principal factors which influenced my life are non-violent tactics, constitutional means, democratic procedures, respect for human personality, a belief that all people are one."
Rybczynski, Witold: "...too many cooks will definitely spoil the broth. Compromise and consensus are important when devising legislation, but they are a poor recipe for creating a memorial." -- Witold Rybczynski, member of the US Commission of Fine Arts & author of "The Biography of a Building" in "I Like Ike (and His Memorial)," New York Times, March 23, 2012.
Santayana, George: "History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there."
Santayana, George: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias : "I met a traveller from an antique land - Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone - Stand in the desert.
Near them on the sand, - Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown - And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command -
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read - Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, -
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. - And on the pedestal these words appear: -
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: - Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!' - Nothing beside remains.
Round the decay - Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, - The lone and level sands stretch far away."
Targ, Harry, Purdue University (course syllabus): "One of the enduring crises in world affairs is the perpetuation of violence, war and inhumane treatment of peoples resulting from economic, political, social, and cultural institutions as well as from psychological factors. In response to the seeming perpetuation of institutionalized cruelty, activists, scholars, persons from religious traditions and others engaged in education began to study and promote “peace...” Some peace educators continue to concentrate on the war problem while others include in their studies worker exploitation, sexism and racism, homophobia, other violations of human rights, and threats to the environment. In short, peace studies involves 'direct violence' (war) and 'structural violence' (institutional exploitation and oppression) and ways to overcome these; 'negative peace' (ending war) and 'positive peace' (creating economic, social and environmental justice)."
U.S. Army, graffiti during the Vietnam War: "Fighting for peace is like fucking for chastity."
van den Dungen, Peter, in "Peace Museums" (1999): "A comprehensive definition of the concept of peace involves a consideration of the relations not only between states but also within states and comprises a wide spectrum of human rights issues. However, in order to make the concept of a peace museum distinctive and practicable, and not all-encompassing, it is desirable to impose some limitations of what is meant by peace. First and foremost, it suggests ideas and efforts aimed at the reduction and elimination of war between states - an urgent and complex task in its own right. Second and more generally, peace involves the pursuit of freedom and justice by individuals and groups through nonviolent means. [Peace museums] conform to this interpretation of peace. [Peace-related museums] deal more with human rights issues..."
van den Dungen, Peter, in Japan, August 2011: "The world should be more aware of the threat posed by nuclear weapons. We should have Hiroshima-type museums in the capital cities of all the nuclear-weapons states, in Washington, London, Paris, Beijing and Moscow. That would have a momentous impact on public opinion and would greatly strengthen the global movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons."
van den Dungen, Peter, in Japan, August 2011: "Although it's more than 65 years since atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I can't believe that the Nobel Peace Prize has not been awarded to hibakusha. Unfortunately, the peace prize is often awarded to leading politicians, even those engaged in wars."
von Clausewitz , Carl: "A conqueror is always a lover of peace."
von Suttner, Baroness Bertha, at inauguration of the Peace Palace, The Hague, August 28, 1913: Says that peace connferences, treaties & tribunals are not sufficient by themselves. "These things also require their material forms, their easily recognisable visible symbols, their homes. War, which has dominated the world for thousands of years, is not short of monuments and palaces. Peace has just ONE monument: the statue of Christ on the Andes [sic]; and in Europe it now has for the first time ONE beautiful building: the Peace Palace..."
World Peace, Metta, basketball player, September 2001: "Changing my name [from Ron Artest] was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world."
Wright, Quincy [1890-1970]: "The artist, sculptor, or poet can produce a work of art which the untutored will at once label 'war.' It is difficult, on the other hand, to imagine a painting, statue, or poem that the average man would unequivocally label 'peace.'"
Yevtushenko, Yevgeny, Babi Yar : "No monument stands over Babi Yar. A drop sheer as a crude gravestone. I am afraid. Today I am as old in years as all the Jewish people. Now I seem to be a Jew..."