I have a ritual every year on Memorial Day. I pop into my VCR an animated Peanuts special entitled, What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? It's a program that takes the beloved Peanuts characters on a tour of famous European battlegrounds. Their tour includes a visit to Flanders fields from World War I where, according to the poem, "The poppies grow, between the crosses row on row." The words of this haunting poem continue, "We are the Dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders fields."
Sadly, mankind did not learn the lesson from this "War to End All Wars." Just 21 years later the world plunged into another global war. The Peanuts characters move on to the scene of a great battle of that conflict—Normandy, where allied troops stormed the French beaches to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi control. While looking over the calm white beaches and rocky cliffs, scenes from the invasion are superimposed. The characters walk through the American cemetery where thousands of young soldiers are buried. This plot of land was permanently deeded to America by the French government.
While walking among the graves, the words of Dwight Eisenhower, who commanded the allied forces that June morning, serve as a fitting testimony to the action. Former President Eisenhower had returned to Normandy 20 years after the invasion and recorded a documentary for American television.
He said, "Many thousands of men came here to storm these beaches for one purpose only. Not to gain anything. Not to fulfill any ambitions that America had for conquest. But just to preserve freedom, systems of self-government. Many thousands of men have died for ideals such as these. In the 20th century for the second time America, along with the rest of the free world, had to come across the ocean to defend those same values. But these young boys...over whose graves we have been treading... never knew the great experiences of going through life. I devoutly hope that we never again have to see scenes as these. I pray, think, hope that humanity will have learned more than we learned up to that time. We must find some way to work for peace and...gain an eternal peace."
Indeed, "What have we learned?" Wars and conflicts continue to create new graves with the same echoes of unrealized hope. In this issue we continue to point our readers to those areas of the world that will make the headlines of the future. Europe continues shaping its destiny as a global power. Our lead article gives you an analysis of the recently revealed draft of the European constitution, another milestone along the path to a European federation. While many leaders hail this as a positive step toward global cooperation, Bible prophecy indicates otherwise.
The search for peace in the Middle East remains elusive. Fresh from victory in Iraq, the United States is engineering a game plan towards establishing order and stability for this volatile region. We again point you to what the Bible says will transpire in Jerusalem prior to Christ's coming.
What have we learned? Not enough to bring peace among nations. We continue to look and wait with hope for the time when Christ will restore a government of peace upon the earth as described by the prophet Isaiah. It is his thoughts found in Isaiah 2:4 Isaiah 2:4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version×that offer us a different future. Those words state, "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." —WNP