Saturday, July 02, 2005

War/Military Service/Douglas, Paul H.

Definition of silence


All of this brings to mind the heroic example of the late Paul H. Douglas, who served three memorable terms in the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from Illinois. Right after Pearl Harbor, Douglas, a Quaker who was already a professor at the University of Chicago and an elected Chicago alderman, enlisted as a private in the Marine Corps. He went through boot camp at Parris Island and fought in combat in Pacific landings at Peleliu and Okinawa. He was wounded so severely that he lost permanently the use of his right arm. He won the Bronze Star. Here is the kicker: When Paul Douglas enlisted in the Marines, he was 50 years old. Now is the time for President George W. Bush to create by executive order the Paul Douglas Brigade, which would actively seek and welcome the enlistment into today's short-handed military the middle-age members of Congress, card-carrying journalists and captains of commerce who missed the chance to serve in their own youth -- because of their commitments to career or comfort -- and could now help prosecute the war they endorsed. That single act could simultaneously cure the shortage of military manpower and deplete the surplus of civilian hypocrisy. Not a bad deal.


At 7/04/2005 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea. But I'm sorry Douglas set some sort of precedent for Quakers.


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