October 21, 1967. We’d just come off the Summer of Love, during which my buddy Marc and I had futilely searched for a “love in.” I was enamored with the peace symbol, with the phrase “make love, not war,” with the placing of flowers in soldiers’ rifles (preferably by pretty blondes with daisy chains in their hair). I wasn’t sure how to get to this mystical place called Peace, but I desperately wanted to be there. I sensed that the hippie movement hadn’t found it, that they were only chanting about it. LBJ didn’t have the answer, but neither did Ho Chi Minh. Still, the peace movement was something. And something was better than nothing, right?
When I heard about the marches–50,000 at the Pentagon and 100,000 in Washington, DC, with echoes in Europe and the UK–I wanted to ride that wave, instead of floating in the brackish backwater of my suburban high school. But peace, real peace, wasn’t born in 1967. Only futility. In Vietnam. In America. On earth.
Real peace, I finally found out, the Prince of Peace, was born in a town called Bethlehem.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~John 14:27