Journal of the San Juan Islands


Tribute to Sen. George McGovern | Letters

October 23, 2013 · Updated 2:23 PM

Former senator and presidential candidate George McGovern is under hospice care at this writing.

Senator McGovern is a decorated combat veteran, a college professor, a three-term United States senator, and a humanitarian. Senator McGovern ran for the presidency against former President Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War.

His passing occurs as we are once again about to elect a president, this time after a prolonged, undeclared war in Iraq, during a prolonged, undeclared war in Afghanistan, and under the hysteria of a war against Iran. The passing of Sen. McGovern will be the loss of an exceptional politician that this nation can ill-afford.

We pay tribute to an honest man, an exceptional statesman, a spokesperson for the futility of war, and sadly, the often corrupt foreign policies of the United States government. Senator McGovern, speaking at the Democratic National Convention in 1972, directed his talk on his opposition to the ruinous war in Vietnam:

“I have no secret plan for peace. I have a public plan. And as one whose heart has ached for the past ten years over the agony of Vietnam, I will halt a senseless bombing of Indochina on Inaugural Day. There will be no more Asian children running ablaze from bombed-out schools. There will be no more talk of bombing the dikes or the cities of the North. And within 90 days of my inauguration, every American soldier and every American prisoner will be out of the jungle and out of their cells and then home in America where they belong.

“And then let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad. This is also the time to turn away from excessive preoccupation overseas to the rebuilding of our own nation. America must be restored to a proper role in the world. But we can do that only through the recovery of confidence in ourselves.”

Senator McGovern, you were right, but we did not listen. May the time come when we do listen and we act accordingly.

Roger/Carolyn deRoos, Friday Harbor


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