04/04/2007 07:54 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This Month, We Honor Ben Linder, a Fallen Advocate for Peace

Twenty years ago this April 28, my fellow Portlander and heroic Central American peace advocate Ben Linder was killed by the Reagan-backed, right-wing Contras of Nicaragua.

You know, the same Contras, who, many believed, ran arms, killed Liberation Theology nuns with the blessing of blood-stained hawks and Evangelical faith-healers, types affiliated with the Reagan Administration, and may have even have fattened their wallets by running crack to the ghettoes of America.

But as we learn in an article in the freel Portland-based Willamette Week out today, Ben was not about the angry side of revolution, but about hope and laughter.

I did not know Ben, but I have met his mother Elisabeth, briefly. To this day, this Portland resident defends his legacy, not only as a loving mother, but as a citizen of the world.

I'm sure she will be there with her honorable grace at several events. The first one is tomorrow night.

If you are in the area:

Events to mark Linder's killing include the showing of a documentary about him at 7 pm Thursday, April 5, at Liberty Hall (311 N Ivy St.); the building of a bridge starting at 9 am Saturday, April 21 in Forest Park; and a memorial event 7 pm Friday, April 27 at First United Methodist Church (1838 SW Jefferson St.). For more details, go to

Hmm, if he was still alive today, Ben would be three things (not ranked in order of importance)

1. My friend.

2. Laughing that Daniel Ortega finally did prevail in the Nicaragua Ben loved, and tried to uplift;

3. Far more important and reaching, on the front lines of the illegal war on Iraq.

Not in Iraq. On.