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May 26, 2019

3/18/2019 8:47:00 AM
"Fighting Forever" Wrong Theme for Veterans Wall

Dear Editor:
I was disturbed to read on the front page of your March 7th issue that Dodgeville High School is proposing "Fighting Forever" as the theme of a new veterans monument. (I will reach out to Principal Nyberg with my concern as well.) Despite what are no doubt good intentions, the theme seems to me misguided. The original intention of the words "fighting forever" in the school song must have been to cheer on football and basketball teams. They should not be extended to war.
War is not sport. It involves both sacrificing and taking human lives in the pursuit of a lasting peace. Its goal is not a constant state of combat. "I am kind. I am safe. I am ready to learn" is the mantra my young children are learning at school. Emblazoning "Fighting Forever" upon the walls would undermine this message.
Moreover, for those who have served in areas of active combat and will behold this display, "fighting forever" describes life after war a little too well. For many soldiers, the injuries of war are not just physical but moral and spiritual. The terrible prevalence of suicide among military veterans-22 a day, or one every 65 minutes according to the VA-attests to the deep longing for an end to the fighting.
A better word for our veterans is the promise of Scripture: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4).
A better name for this display than "Fighting Forever" would simply be "With Gratitude."
Mark Williamson
Pastor, Grace
Lutheran Church, Dodgeville

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