2020 was a devastating year for most people; one that will not be easily forgotten. As the year began, the President brought the nation to the brink of war with Iran, a country that we have attempted to dominate during most of my lifetime. In March, Congress passed the largest war budget ever in the history of the United States. In July, Democrats and Republicans worked together to defeat a bill that would have cut the Pentagon budget by 10 percent ($74 billion) and redistributed that money to fund much-needed domestic programs.
After decades of creating police departments and officers with a war mentality, rather than a guardian mentality, the murder of George Floyd and other Black Americans ignited months of nationwide demonstrations. The U.S. military was called in and used against our own citizens as they protested widespread police brutality against Black people. Today we continue to kill, maim, and make refugees of innocent impoverished people in Africa and the Middle East, to take hostile actions against Latin American countries, and to threaten Iran, China, North Korea, and Russia.
The inadequacies of U.S. healthcare and public health systems and the persistent shortages of equipment, supplies, hospital beds, and vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the fact that military-related activities are the highest priority of our government. That’s where tax dollars have gone and that’s where resources have been used: spread around the world to intimidate and do harm, rather than good.
The nation’s priorities are clear. The need to end our culture of war is more urgent than ever. In a country that funds and esteems war-making, the long-overdue respect for peacemaking must be taught and modeled. Building a national monument to peacemakers can help achieve that goal. It can change our cultural mindset, making it no longer acceptable to label those who speak out against U.S. wars as un-American, anti-military, disloyal, or unpatriotic. With public recognition of our peacemakers – celebrating their actions and accomplishments and normalizing their roles in society – we can challenge the social barriers that citizens face when they publicly express antiwar sentiments.
The US Peace Memorial Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, does this work by:
· Publishing the US Peace Registry, which documents the antiwar and peace activities of individuals and organizations.
· Awarding the annual US Peace Prize to an individual or organization that has made an exceptional effort to stop wars and to work for peace.
· Raising funds to build the US Peace Memorial in Washington, DC.
Work with us to end the U.S. war culture by honoring courageous Americans who stand for peace. Your contribution shows that you value and support our programs, and it demonstrates your commitment to building the US Peace Memorial. If you are already a Founding Member, please make your 2021 contribution now. If not, make a $100 donation and your name will be included on our website (www.uspeacememorial.org/Donors.htm); in any future editions of our book, ENDING U.S. WARS; and, eventually, at the National Monument we will build in Washington, DC.
BRIEF REVIEW OF THE YEAR
US Peace Prize
The US Peace Memorial Foundation awarded the 2020 US Peace Prize to The Honorable Christine Ahn, “for bold activism to end the Korean War, heal its wounds, and promote women’s roles in building peace.”
In a virtual event on November 11, Michael Knox, Chair of the Foundation, thanked Christine for her “outstanding leadership and activism to end the Korean War and halt militarism on the Korean Peninsula. We applaud your tireless work to involve more women in peace building. Your efforts over the last two decades are greatly appreciated in the United States and around the world. Thank you for your service.”
In response to her selection, Ms. Ahn commented, “On behalf of Women Cross DMZ and all the courageous women who are working to end the Korean War, thank you for this tremendous honor. It is especially significant to receive this award in the 70th anniversary of the Korean War – a war that claimed four million lives, destroyed 80 percent of North Korean cities, separated millions of Korean families, and still divides the Korean people by the De-militarized Zone (DMZ), which in reality is among the most militarized borders in the world.
Sadly, the Korean War is known as the ‘Forgotten War’ in the United States, even though it continues to this day. That’s because the U.S. government refuses to negotiate a peace agreement with North Korea while continuing to wage a brutal war of sanctions against innocent North Korean people and impede reconciliation between the two Koreas. Not only is the Korean War the longest standing overseas U.S. conflict, but it is also the war that inaugurated the U.S. military industrial complex and put the United States on the path to become the world’s military police.
I humbly accept this award on behalf of the countless and nameless Korean activists whose lives have been destroyed in their quest for peace and reunification, as they faced tremendous obstacles by forces that continue to profit from this unended war. For me, too, the road to peace has not been easy. I have been redbaited, surveilled, denied entry to my homeland, and, hardest of all, alienated within my own family. But this peace prize sends a strong message of hope to the diasporic communities here in the United States. It not only affirms our mission of peace but also the critical role that women play in that effort. It’s time to move U.S. foreign policy away from endless wars that have sown chaos and violence in our homelands, and to recognize the leadership of women in creating the conditions that normalize peace.
I am eternally grateful to the US Peace Memorial Foundation for recognizing me, Women Cross DMZ, and all the people who have devoted their lives to seeing peace in Korea.”
Ms. Ahn joins previous US Peace Prize recipients Ajamu Baraka, David Swanson, Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace, Kathy Kelly, CODEPINK Women for Peace, Chelsea Manning, Medea Benjamin, Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, and Cindy Sheehan. Nominees considered by the Foundation’s Board in 2020 were Daniel Ellsberg, Thomas C. Fox, Tulsi Gabbard, Alfred L. Marder, Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, and World BEYOND War. You can read about the antiwar/peace activities of the recipients and all nominees in our publication, the US Peace Registry.
Michael Knox finished writing ENDING U.S. WARS by Honoring Americans Who Work for Peace in 2020. Although the book was not published until January 2021, it generated a lot of interest in late December and moved to number one on “Amazon Hot New Releases” in the war and peace category.
Honored Individuals and Organizations
This year, the US Peace Registry, recognized and documented the antiwar work of the following Americans and U.S. organizations that have publicly opposed military solutions (including invasion, occupation, production of weapons of mass destruction, use of weapons, and threats of war), and have advocated diplomacy and global cooperation to solve international problems. You can read about their specific contributions and activities at wwww.uspeacememorial.org/Registry.htm.
Linda Pentz Gunter
Dr. Michael Haas
Fletcher W. Hinds Jr.
Matthew P. Hoh
Adrienne J. Kinne
Dr. Rosemarie Pace
Dr. Steven Soldz
Kings Bay Plowshares 7
Whatcom Peace and Justice Center
Women Cross DMZ
We gave several interviews during the year including “Making Peace Normal” on Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox radio program. Three articles were also published in CounterPunch: “As Monuments to War Generals Come Down, Let’s Replace Them with Monuments to Peace,” “Militarism and COVID-19,” and “After Nagasaki, the U.S. Did Not Choose Peace.”
Tom Neilson, a Founding Member, presented a tribute song to the US Peace Memorial Foundation called “Peace Memorial.” The song begins with our mission, “Honor the people who work for peace…,” and many of Tom’s lyrics take examples straight from the pages of the US Peace Registry. We are very appreciative of members like Cindy and Tom for helping to spread our message.
If you belong to an antiwar or faith-based organization, or any group that would support our mission, please ask them to invite us to speak about our new book, ENDING U.S. WARS by Honoring Americans Who Work for Peace.
Our Founding Members are helping us find and choose the best antiwar and pro-peace statements made by well-known Americans. Eventually, the selected quotes will be chiseled on the US Peace Memorial we will build in Washington, DC.
Here are two quotations under consideration:
“It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968).
King, Martin Luther, Jr. “Acceptance Speech, Nobel Prize for Peace 1964.” Nobel Lectures Including Presentation Speeches and Laureates' Biographies Peace. Vol. 3. Ed. Frederick W. Haberman, Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing, 1972. Print.
“We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.”
Carter, Jimmy. “Nobel Lecture.” Peace 2001-2005. Eds. Abrams Irwin and Scott London. Singapore: World Scientific, 2009. 52-61. Print.
All Founding Members are encouraged to help choose quotes. We are looking for well-referenced statements to inspire Americans to speak out against war and to work for peace. As new quotations are vetted, they are posted on FFacebook, TTwitter, and IInstagram for review. Please add your own comments on these social media sites. See www.uspeacememorial.org/Quotes.htm for more details about the quotation selection process. Let us know which ones are your favorites – and share with us any great quotes we may have overlooked.
Thank you to our Directors: Medea Benjamin, Dr. Lucy Bradley-Springer, Margaret Kimberley, Jolyon Sasse, and Dr. Charles F. Clark (emeritus); Assistant Editors: Tracy Blalock and Beverly Lowenstein; and volunteers, including Ken Burrows, Sue Chen, Dr. Tiffany Chenneville, Dr. David Chiriboga, Tom Cloud, Dr. Martha Friedrich, Dana D. Immordino, James Knox, John Knox, Donald Martin, Dr. Lynette J. Menezes, Stephanie Miodus, Tom Neilson, and Stephen Yovino. Without these incredible and dedicated supporters, very little would have been accomplished during the year. We greatly appreciate their contributions.
Christine Ahn, HI
Philip Anderson, WI
Dr. Bahman Azad, NY
Medea Benjamin, DC
Beyond Nuclear, MD
Dr. Bill Blank, FL
James Blok, CO
Dr. Lucy Bradley-Springer, CO
Edward J. Briody, NY
Rachel Bruhnke, CA
Fred Bryant, IO
Sondra G. Cadman, FL
Dr. Helen M. Caldicott, MA
Scott Camil, FL
Sue Chen, FL
Dr. David A. Chiriboga, FL
Richard Chiriboga, MA
Dr. Charles F. Clark, CO
Stephen D. Clemens, MN
Sandie Cloud, AR
Tom Cloud, AR
Ludmilla Coven, IL
John G. Cox, AZ
Pauline (Penny) E. Cragun, MN
Linda Curatolo, MI
CVS Health Foundation, RI
Hans Faulstich, FL
Barbara Fite, FL
Jennifer Kresge Fitzsimmons, NY
Dr. Sondra J. Fogel, FL
Dr. Linda Rose Frank, PA
Pat Fry, NY
Stephen Fryburg, OH
Edith Gail, CO
Marilyn Gallant, MA
Penelope Gardner, MN
Barbara Gerten, MN
Daniel H. Gilman, WA
Amanda Hall, FL
Dr. Nuzhat Haneef, MD
Dana D. Immordino, GA
Ali Ismail, FL
Shiva Kashi, Canada
Dr. Ellen J. Kennedy, MN
Dr. Barbara A. Kidney, NY
Linda Musmeci Kimball, OH
Margaret Kimberley, NY
Dr. Russell S. Kirby, FL
Chris A. Knox, OH
James R. S. Knox, FL
John M. P. Knox, MN
Dr. Michael D. Knox, FL
David M. Korman Esq., PA
Dr. Seetha Krishna, FL
Dr. Jeffrey D. Kromrey, FL
Alexander Lanzano, CT
Elisabeth Lenain, FL
Josie Lenwell, NM
Fletcher Lenz, TX
Jonny Lewis, MI
Robin Lloyd, VT
Dr. Alice LoCicero, CA
Beverly Lowenstein, MD
Dr. Kathleen Malley-Morrison, MA
Julian Martin, WV
Donald W. Martin, MI
M. L. McGaughran, FL
Dr. Lynette Menezes, FL
David Michael Enterprises, NV
Dr. Victor A. Molinari, FL
Dr. Thomas W. Morgan, MN
Kingsley G. Morse Jr., WA
Ellen Murphy, WA
Alan Mytty, FL
Dr. Dennis Neyman, KY
Dr. Rosemarie Pace, NY
PayPal Giving Fund
John Clark Pegg, MN
Dr. Victor Peppard, FL
Amanda Phillips, MI
Diane Picotte-Habedank-Habedank, MN
John M. Porter, MI
Dave Rasmussen, CA
David P. Reddy, FL
Alice Rodgers, NM
Chaia Ross, NM
Karl Ross, FL
Dr. Floyd W. Rudmin, Canada
Phil Runkel, WI
Cynthia Sampson, NC
William Samuel, MD
Dr. Jack Sawyer, CA
Barbara Schechtman, IL
Thomas Scherrer, CT
Robert Schilare, NJ
Marilyn Sequoia, CA
Fredric D. Sirasky, FL
Helen Slater, VA
Dr. Stephen Soldz, MA
Dr. Rita Stanley, OR
Gloria Steinem, NY
Rev. James L. Swarts, NY
Sharon Tennison, CA
Frank L. Tetrick, III, VA
Brian J. Trautman, NY
Mary Laurel True, MN
U.S. Peace Council, CT
Dr. Arthur Ulene, CA
Dr. Paul Van Slambrouck, MI
Sally J. Van Slambrouck, MI
Jeff Voelcker, FL
Voices for Creative Nonviolence, IL
Dr. Ronald Wilcox, DC
George Wilhelm, WA
World Beyond War - Central Florida, FL
Dr. Joseph M. Wronka, MA
Carol F. Yost, NY
Stephen G. Yovino, FL
We need your help, too. Without your ongoing generosity and commitment, the US Peace Memorial will never become a National Monument that can help move the United States toward a culture of peace.
Early on, we set four benchmarks to achieve before announcing our national campaign to raise the millions of dollars needed to build the US Peace Memorial as a national monument. In the press release announcing the campaign, we will be able to say that we have one thousand Founding Members representing all fifty states, have honored one thousand individuals and organizations in the US Peace Registry who are working for peace, and have already raised one million dollars in donations.
This chart shows how we are doing and where we need your help before we can move forward.
The Foundation has achieved 90 percent of its goal of having Founding Members from every state. We now have Founding Members from forty-five states (plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). The five leading states in terms of membership are Florida (130), Minnesota (42), California (31), New York (17), and Massachusetts (15). Help us increase the number of supporters in your state. Please help us add Founding Members from the five remaining states that are not represented: Delaware, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Dakota, and South Carolina.
We have achieved 42 percent of our goal of one thousand Founding Members to begin our nationwide fundraising campaign. We must have 579 more Founding Members from throughout the country. Currently, our Founding Member list includes 380 individuals and forty-one organizations/businesses, 12 of which are faith-based.
If you are one of the five thousand people on our email list who have not yet joined, please take action today – become a Founding Member. By supporting the Foundation you will be working for peace.
The US Peace Registry documents and honors the antiwar efforts of Americans. Anyone who has spoken out publicly against war can submit a description of their activities and apply to be considered. What better way to end current U.S. wars than to have more people speak out against them? There are many ways to make your voice heard. We currently recognize the work of more than 188 individuals and 77 organizations that are role models for a broad range of peace and antiwar activities.
To date, we have received donations totaling $163,863 toward the $1,000,000 benchmark we must reach before making a public announcement of our major fundraising campaign to build the US Peace Memorial as a national monument. If you are in a position to make a charitable contribution, please consider the importance of supporting our goal of moving the U.S. toward a culture of peace.
Hardcover $44.95: ISBN 978-1-7360994-0-7
Paperback $29.95: ISBN 978-1-7360994-1-4
All proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to the US Peace Memorial Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
Order and wear our t-shirt to show your support for the Foundation and our antiwar/pro-peace message: www.cafepress.com/uspeacememorial.
You can also purchase other items with our logo including buttons, yard signs, tote bags, baby shirts, and even a shirt for Fido. Encourage your friends and everyone you meet to think about peace and to join us. It’s always time to get the conversation started!
Lou Pumphrey, a Founding Member, wears our button on his old Army field jacket while carrying a peace flag at public events. Read details about his antiwar/peace activities in our publication, the UUS Peace Registry.
If you make Amazon purchases anyway, you can support the US Peace Memorial Foundation by shopping at ssmile.amazon.com. The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5 percent of the purchase price every time you shop this way. You’ll use your regular Amazon login info, and you’ll get the same products, same prices, and same service. These donations have garnered more than $900 for the Foundation. Please tell your family and friends about this easy way of supporting us.
Those of us who work for peace are pulled in many directions. Antiwar resources have been stretched thin, and peace seems elusive as our country's militarism maintains a fixed hold on our culture. The endless wars will stop only when the American people demand it, and the more people who demand it, the louder our voices will be. We need your help, now more than ever, to make our voices heard.
· Donate or, if you haven’t yet, become a Founding Member by adding your name to our list of more than 420 visionary leaders, and be permanently associated with the US Peace Memorial.
o Mail a check to: US Peace Memorial Foundation • 334 East Lake Road #136 • Palm Harbor, FL 34685.
· Already a Founding Member? Please make your 2021 contribution.
· How about a move to the next donor level? Credit for your contributions is cumulative.
· Add your organization’s bio to the US Peace Registry here: Organization Bio.
(See examples: www.uspeacememorial.org/Organizations.htm.)
Please volunteer. Our volunteers are the backbone of the foundation. Even if it’s only a few hours a month, your help is still greatly appreciated. As a nationwide grassroots organization with annual expenses of less than $18,000, we are especially in need of:
· assistant editors
· marketing specialists
Choose any or all of these options – you can inspire other Americans to speak out against war and to work for peace.
Thank you very much for your support.
Michael Knox, Ph.D. Chair
US Peace Memorial Foundation, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity.
Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible to the extent provided by U.S. law.
Florida registration #: CH20094. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE FLORIDA DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
Copyright 2021, US Peace Memorial Foundation, Inc.