Archive for Saturday, May 11, 2013

Letter: Military icon

May 11, 2013


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.


Ken Lassman 5 years, 1 month ago

Your sentiments are not just your own; many others share your sentiments as well, just as I suppose there are others who don't. Like I said during the last round of comments on this topic, the missile to me is a symbol of humanity's brilliance and at the very same time a symbol of our shortcomings. And to ignore or downplay either one of these very human traits is to do so at our very great peril. This double edged sword characteristic is what this icon represents to me, and to have a public reminder of this is akin to the Icarus statue on west campus or other such complex symbolic depictions of our ambivalent nature.

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 1 month ago

Leave it where it's at, been there several years and causes no problem for most people here in Lawrence, just a few squeaky wheels object. Well wtitten letter, and many thanks

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