EXCERPT FROM SPEECH AT FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH IN COLUMBUS, SUMMER OF 2007
Kennedy was also bucking the entire military industrial complex. In June, he announced that he wanted to end the cold war. He wanted to end the arms race. He said “we all breathe the same air, we all live in a world where we want our children to grow up in peace, we all drink the same water, and if we don’t get rid of nuclear weapons, we’re not going to have that world.” He said, “and we’re all mortal.” In October, he said he wanted to scatter the CIA to the four winds.
My mother was the highest paid woman in the Pentagon. She worked there 30 years, and she was a manpower analyst for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She ended up in a GS-13, very high for a woman in those days – and came in ‘43 and left in ’73. She had been a pacifist between WWI and WWII – showed me her pacifist poetry – like much of the pacifists in the international community she came to believe that Hitler was so evil that we had to go to war to fight Hitler. About the only person that got it, and said anything, in 1936 was Thomas Merton. He said, “if America fights Hitler, it will become Hitler.”