The Danish Peace Academy
The Wars We Make
By: Nicholas Peters
I gaze into the world with sorrowing eyes
Is there no peace for man?
Show me your light, O God
The Second World War may have cost as many as fifty million lives. Letís do our utmost so that such carnage will never happen again. It is my hope and prayer that the poem, below, can be of some help in guiding our thoughts toward peace and understanding (Middle East, etc., etc.) even now as we remember the terrible cost of the Second World War sixty years later.
The poem was written by Nicholas Peters just after the outbreak of World War II in 1939. Peters, who lived for some years at Grande Pointe, Manitoba, Canada, had emigrated from Russia in 1925 as a boy of 10 and had seen firsthand the horrors of revolution and war in his native country. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942 and trained as a flying officer. He died on the night of March 7-8, 1945 after his aircraft was hit by enemy fire. The poem is from a collection of Peters' work entitled Another Morn.
The Peters family has given permission to have the poem published.
Some ten years ago, my wife and I stood beside Peters' grave in an Allied war cemetery in Germany, with a huge sword on a cross backdrop, and grieved for him and the countless others buried there "row on row" in those graveyards of Europe. Quietly they lie now, sometimes friend and foe close together with so much of life still waiting to be lived.
Most of the last verse of Peters' poem is inscribed on his tombstone with "me" and "I" changed to "US" and "WE".
SHOW US YOUR LIGHT, O GOD,
I dream of the day when all of us, governments included, will listen to this soldier’s plea.
I am a retired teacher (in earllier years I was involved in the lumber and pulpwood industry). I have a wife, Rose; we have two boys and six grandchildren. Rose and I spend some time working with Winnipeg Harvest (in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), an organization helping those in need with food and we work part time at a Thrift shop, sellling used items and with that, money is raised for Mennonite Central Committee which helps struggling people in many parts of the world. (I could mention here that some young men from Germany, instead of training in the army, are allowed to come to Winnipeg and help at Winnipeg Harvest too.)
I want to be of help in this suffering world by sending out letters and other writings for peace.