Reflections on the past year ...

Fernando Suarez del Solar
Another year of fear and sorrow or a year of hope?

By Fernando Suarez del Solar

From my point of view, it is clear that the world is expecting peace in 2007. It expects an end to attacks on the most vulnerable among us, an end to terrorism, and an end to the needless death of children. But how does the world achieve its desired goal?

Education is the key. The young people of the world must understand that wars and violence will never lead to peace. On this point history is clear. Many have waged war and many continue to do so today. But war is not the way to peace.

In the United States we must eliminate militarism in the schools and end the immoral expenditures for war. Our priorities must be totally rearranged.

I ask that in 2007 we join together with one simple goal--peace--and that we work together to achieve the changes that will make it happen.

I have now endured four Decembers, four Christmas seasons, without my son, without his embrace, his kiss, his laughter, and his presence. Four Christmas seasons have passed during which my grandson does not have his family together in joy and harmony. And, like our family, 3000 other American families and thousands in Iraq find that their lives have been devastated because of Bush's lies and because of the greed of a few powerful men.

The holidays have been painful for me as I drive through the city and see happy families, parents and children buying their gifts, smiling as they move down busy streets. I have seen indifference to the suffering of others around the world--hungry children, children wounded by war. I am saddened to see people more concerned about the latest sports scores than they are about the unfortunate families who have lost their children to weapons made in Israel, Britain, and the United States.

I see the media relegating the war, the dead soldiers, and the suffering children to the second, third, or even last place. How did we become so insensitive?

Today, as we bid farewell to 2006, with 3000 dead American soldiers and hundred of thousands dead Iraqis, I weep because of the insensitivity of the majority and because of our own impotence. I am saddened because I have been unable to stop the unnecessary spilling of blood. The suffering of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and grandchildren is breaking my heart.

Today, on the final day of 2006, the United States mourns an ex-president. But I ask myself--Why is the nation not in mourning for the 3000 brave ones? Why does the government suspend activities and spend our taxes on elaborate ceremonies for an ex-president but not do the same for those who have fallen in Bush's criminal war?

Today, I feel more devastated than ever. My heart aches more than it did four years ago. My son's loss destroyed me but the thought that even more lives will be lost renders me helpless and I feel as though I were shipwrecked and without a compass that might lead me to a safe haven where there is peace, harmony, tolerance, and understanding.

I bid 2006 farewell. You have brought much pain, sorrow, and sadness.

I welcome 2007. May you bring us at the very least a renewed hope that there will be peace in the world.

Fernando Suarez del Solar, Founder & Director
Guerrero Azteca Peace Project

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