To the editor:
Since the dawn of the atomic age, the men and women of our strategic nuclear forces have spent countless hours preparing for a war that they prayed would never come. They have served long tours in remote locations far from families and friends. They have risked their lives working with toxic and volatile substances in confined concrete silos. They have battled minus-83-degree cold at Thule and flown countless hours in cramped aircraft.
The Polaris missile in Centennial Park serves as a reminder to all of us that brave men and women continue to serve in our strategic nuclear forces. It is a reminder that these weapons are still out there and that young airmen are still standing ready to do the unthinkable in the defense of the nation they love.
Two hundred and fifty years ago, Clausewitz wrote that “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” The responsibility for the continued presence of these weapons lies with our politicians and their inability to peacefully resolve our differences. It does not lie with our airmen or the weapons they maintain.
As a commissioned officer, I dream that one day our politicians will succeed — that they will order our airmen to dismantle these instruments of death. Until then, I am proud to count these airmen among our ranks and support our City Commission in its decision to maintain and display this icon of our strategic nuclear forces.
The views expressed in this letter are solely those of the author and are not those of the Department of Defense.