Friday, September 21, 2012

Paying the Price for Peace

Guest: Brian Willson, Vietnam Veteran and long time peace activist, talks about Bo Boudart's new documentary "Paying the Price for Peace," which is based on Brian's life.

As a vet and a peace activist who traveled to Nicaragua in the 1980's, I have always felt a connection with Brian. Maybe it's because we are both from rural, upstate New York (I was raised on a farm). 

I have always wondered what makes some activists take chances with their lives, and marveled at how important such sacrifices are for the movement to end wars and preserve the human race. Preserve the race in two ways, of course. The first way is straightforward. Will there be a place on this planet for humankind after nuclear war or runaway global climate change? The second preservation is more subtile, but none the less important. Is there an innate morality that is part of our existence on earth? I want to keep my faith in that, and don't know how I could really live without it. 

Here is the poem I wrote for Brian after he lost his legs trying to stop weapons shipments to Central America.

For Brian Wilson

This stops a trainload of bullets,
Destined for Central American hearts.

Now there is blood on the heavy wheels,
And a man gives his legs for peace.
Oh shame for those who stand upright,
And pay for murders out of sight.

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