It is my general understanding that what God wants from the Human race He created is that they are to bring nature under control, people the earth and that these “people” should get along with each other.

Now really, how hard can that be?

If we are to let history answer that question, the answer seems to be that getting along with one another is almost impossible. We history teachers like to say that if we learn history, mistakes will not be repeated.

I am saying a major reason for us to learn history is to recognize the signs of coming conflict and to find a way to protect ourselves from fresh disasters.

Judy Haas Smith

We are currently looking again at what was first called the Great War because it was the largest conflict the world had seen. This was 1914 to 1918.

My Columbia Encyclopedia states, “When the first World War ended, the immense suffering it had caused gave rise to a general revulsion to any kind of war.” Ten million were killed, twenty million were wounded. Starvation and epidemics killed an incalculable number of God’s human race.

So how is it that we then found ourselves in World War II, Vietnam, Korea, and more conflict than I care to list in the Middle East, China, Africa and South America?

It seems to me these conflicts are fed by the control-freak syndrome in persons with the power to instigate decisions. Of course we usually find it necessary to fight back for self-preservation because the “enemy” is bent on our destruction.

But to enter the fight, proper preparation is a requirement.

I spent five years researching a book I published in 2015. It was the life story of Daniel Longwell, a very adept individual with a sense of foresight and recognition of the coming of World War II. His development of LIFE magazine is the short story of his patriotism. The long story was that he perceived the American public was not willing or ready to enter the European or Pacific conflicts.

But he also perceived the threatening evil. He therefore began to do stories promoting the U.S. Armed forces, the good USA happenings in industry and agriculture, the recognition of the common American men and women, their dreams and abilities.

He almost single-handedly developed American Patriotism thru LIFE which was the only picture media from 1936 to the 1950’s growth of television. There was NO television in World War I or II, or the Korean conflict.

Surely anyone today with knowledge of the histories of wars can recognize the current accumulating events gathering storm clouds. We need a Daniel Longwell to show us our strengths. We need to pull up our socks, set our houses in order, get along with our neighbors and family members and give up our petty grievances.

Let us rededicate ourselves to what made America good enough for us: hard work, neighborly behavior, love and kindness like a pail full of milk and cream. We must not be decadent or lazy.

Those of you who visit the IOOF cemetery will notice a small stone house on its north hillside. There is a plaque of concrete, donated by Neosho IOOF Lodge 85, which reads that it is dedicated to the boys of Newton County who lost their lives in the World War. Dedicated May 30, 1922.

It is good that we be grateful.

It is better we be mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared.

(Judy Haas Smith lives in Neosho.)

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