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Letter: Vietnam War protester is on right side of history

Vietnam War protester is on right side of history

A May 22 letter from an icon of Buffalo’s peace and justice community continues to give voice to truth. A brief bio on Bruce Beyer puts him in the Unitarian church (disclosure – my wife and I married there) on Elmwood Avenue being arrested by federal marshals and FBI agents in the summer of 1968. As a pre-eminent guide for anti-Vietnam War draft resisters, I can only wonder how many consciences he saved.

Chants of “Free the nine, the trial’s a crime” did not keep him from receiving a three-year sentence and the UB campus burst into flames, literally. Guiding anti-war draft resisters to refuge from entering an immoral, unjust war meant having a newsletter “The Buffalo Broadside,” whose offices were sacked by the police.

Archbishop Oscar Romero has just been nominated for sainthood by the Catholic Church. He was murdered by El Salvadoran right-wing death squads. Regrettably, American complicity cannot be denied. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Gaza are all war situations where conscience needs to question for moral truth. Is the good of mankind being served or are humanly self-destructive purposes at work?

It’s a joyful Memorial Day celebration when we ask ourselves as a united people: For what are we sacrificing human life?

Ray Peterson

Buffalo