By Joe White
On May 29 President John F. Kennedy would have been 98 years old. The iconic 35th President of the United States was the first president born in the 20th century and the youngest person ever elected to that office. He came to the presidency on a theme of youthful vitality, intelligence, justice and hope.
2020 AYWW also rides a theme of youthful vitality, intelligence, justice and hope. Our catalyst, the millennials are the most educated generation in history and they know that profound differences among people need not be a threat to others or social stability but rather an opportunity to celebrate a rich diversity of flourishing for all humanity.
In his first Inaugural Address, President Kennedy famously instructed, “…my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” And so, in this, the 21st century, 2020 AYWW instructs, “To our fellow human beings: ask not what your species can do for you – ask what you can do for our species.” And the answer is so simple, JOIN, RECRUIT, LIKE, SHARE, EDUCATE for 2020 A Year Without War.
Too much of our species treasures of blood and wealth remain entangled in our outmoded practice of war. Our wars are fueled by and carried out by intolerant minorities. Now is the time to give voice to all who demand that war no longer be an option for resolving our inevitable collective conflicts. 2020 AYWW asks you, ‘Just Say Yes!’ Yes to creating a one-year global cease-fire. YES to carrying out a grand, global social experiment for a single year. WE can make 2020 a year without war, if YOU SAY YES.
If you doubt the possibility of a one-year global cease-fire, recall President Kennedy’s challenge, with his deadline, to land a person on the moon by the end of the 1960’s. On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong took one small step for man but one giant leap for mankind when he stepped onto the surface of the moon. 2020 AYWW salutes President Kennedy for pushing humanity audaciously forward. We are now the generation to dream audaciously and take one giant leap for mankind. War, like the legally sanctioned, historical practice of slavery or the pandemic of small pox, can also be abandoned to our dark history. Let us not forget that JFK also gave us the Peace Corps.