Is the Ferguson (MO) Issue Embraced by Our Statement of Purpose?

(Editorial note: Following the Ferguson, Missouri shooting in November 2014 and subsequent public outcry and demonstrations, there was wide debate within the VFP community about whether it was germane to take a stand on the those issues raised given our normal organizational focus on international peace. Madison Chapter25, which begins its meetings with a reading and reaffirmation of the national “Statement of Purpose,” discussed and approved the following statement. It was authored by member Lincoln Grahlfs, a veteran of WW II.)

A terse answer to this question is simply to note that one should not make a distinction between international peace and domestic peace. Certainly, any hostility along ethnic, racial or religious lines is inimical to domestic peace.

It should be noted, further, that at one time in this country policemen were frequently referred to as “peace officers.” Americans have consistently had a negative response when police in other nations assume the role of “enforcers.”

Certainly, it can be argued today that some of the most serious breaches of the peace results from exacerbation of racial, ethnic or religious differences. To ignore them is to turn ones back on any efforts for peace.

Finally, let it be noted that every one of us, as American veterans, took an oath to support and defend the Constitution; the thirteenth amendment to that constitution contains the statement: “nor shall any state deny any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction, the equal protection of the laws.”

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