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Thank you for printing Chris Edwards' letter and excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King's "A Christmas Sermon on Peace" on the anniversary of our nation's independence ("A sermon of peace," July 4).

Dr. King's words hold even more of an importance now as our country experiences a rapidly growing divisiveness and disconnection with each other and the world. To quote Dr. King, "Yes, as nations and individuals we are interdependent. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a singular garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all individually."

In my hometown of Belleville, New Jersey, every eighth grade class in Public School #8 made a field trip to Morristown, N.J. We were in awe of the site of one of George Washington's headquarters and the huts of the soldiers who were stationed there during the War for Independence.

What I remember also was standing at the statue of Thomas Paine. It was over 65 years ago but I think I remember he was seated and had in his hands a copy of the essay, "Common Sense."

Recently, I came across a copy of "Common Sense " and the words have not lost any of their value in the 240-plus years since they were published. "These are the times that try men's souls, the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered: yet we have the consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."

Sadly, there is a battle being waged but not with guns. It's for the integrity of our beautiful country. I read somewhere that integrity means being whole, unbroken and undivided. It describes a person who has united the different parts of his/her personality, so that there is no longer a split in the soul.

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Gandhi said it better. "When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seemed invincible, but in the end, they always fall. They always fall ... think of it, always."

A reminder that the bi-monthly Peace Vigil that usually occurs on the last Sunday of every other month, will take place on Sunday, July 23 from 2-4 p.m. (so as not to interfere with the Porch Fest on the 30th).

It will be from 2-4 p.m. on the corners of Third Street and Soscol Avenue. Not everyone is inclined to stand with us but we are connected in many ways such as positive thoughts and peaceful, loving actions.

Teresa Cahill

Napa

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