Thanks for covering the Louisiana World Peace Day. We all need to work toward peace and spend less time, effort and money on the high cost of destruction and death caused by war.

I recently attended the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., along with several thousand other returned volunteers.

Starting in 1961, we heeded President John Kennedy’s call and went to countries all over the world to build global friendships, cultural understanding and to help people help themselves in projects to better their communities and lives.

Present at the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary event, held at Arlington National Cemetery, were ambassadors, leaders and a vice president from many of the countries where volunteers had served, who spoke about how their lives had been influenced and changed by Peace Corps volunteers. Among the speakers were President Kennedy’s great-niece and -nephew, who also had been volunteers.

We all have an opportunity to work for peace in Baton Rouge without going overseas, simply by hosting international students through LSU’s International Hospitality Foundation, joining Friendship Force or educating ourselves about different religions and cultures. Person to person, one by one, we can make a difference.

The total annual budget for the Peace Corps is equal to the amount of money spent by the military in Afghanistan in five hours of a single day.

Doesn’t peace deserve more?

Mary Drake Bell

retired rehabilitation counselor

Baton Rouge