05/27/2014 09:19 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Memorial Day 2014


In memory of all the dead
who gave their lives in any war.

In memory of those who survived
but remain broken in body, mind, or soul.

In memory of a sermon on a mount
that blessed the peacemakers and those who mourn.

In memory of the activists, artists, and original thinkers who were persecuted
and imprisoned for the stands they took for peace and justice.

In memory of all the teachers who said in a thousand different ways:
Bring peace and light wherever you go.

In memory of the children who need us now to grow up and get along.

In memory of the earth, our forests, our seas, our mountains and rivers,
our fellow creatures and all their habitats who count on us to do what's right.

In memory of each of us, waking up slowly to the miracle of our lives.

May 24, 2014

This is how Leonard Bernstein responded to the Berlin Wall coming down. He conducted Beethoven's 9th Symphony, ending with Ode to Joy (changed to Ode to Freedom) sung by choirs from all over the world. As a pacifist, I never choose violence as a solution to a problem. As an artist, I put my hope in music. If we had conductors at the borders instead of commanders, we might stand a chance at a world that works.

I am not saying do it my way, but I am saying: Put me at a table with the warriors and maybe together we can come up with original ideas, something fresh and right and good for the planet. This is Bernstein at his best: