On July 6 2016, Mel Duncan spent the morning at the Hiroshima site below where the bomb exploded in August 1945. In the evening, Mel gave a statement where he called to stop every form of cruelty and apologized to the people of Hiroshima. His statement follows.
"I remember standing by the mangle iron talking with my mother. She was crying as she ironed clothes. She was “blue” as she called it, a condition that we would now describe as “depression.” She lamented the conditions of the world. The Cold War raged. She feared nuclear war. She openly pondered whether it was right to bring children into this world. I was ten years old. Things were bad for my mom and the world and I felt responsible.
I remember going to my primary school and scoffing at the air raid drills when we would “duck and cover” under our desks.
Today we are gathered to explore a transformation from brutal and horrific violence to compassionate and holistic nonviolence: what Hibakusha Setsuko Thurlow envisions as “nothing less than a cultural transformation away from our obsession with violence and war.” Yet the world must never forget nor deny what happened here.
I am a citizen of the United States of America. My country produced and dropped atomic bombs that incinerated thousands of people and poisoned generations more. There is never a valid justification for killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. It is a crime against humanity. We do not kill one another to save lives.
I am sorry.
John Noltner interviewed NP's Mel Duncan for his first book, "A Peace of My Mind." The book consists of interviews with people of all backgrounds on the subject of peace and what it means to individuals in different contexts. He's now working on his second book, which focuses on interviews that he's gathered through traveling across the US over the last three years.
Check out Noltner's book, website, and podcast for Mel's interview, beautiful photography, and a unique view on what peace means to Americans. Click on the following links:
"A Peace of My Mind"
John Noltner's new project
Podcast with Mel's interview
On April 27th, Mel Duncan (co-founder of Nonviolent Peaceforce) presented about his recent trip to the Vatican where he was one of eighty peace leaders evaluating the Just War Doctrine. Over 130 people joined the conversation wanting to be part of reintroducing the power of nonviolent action to the world.
You can download Mel's presentation by clicking here.
Also, read what the press wrote about the conference at the Vatican:
An appeal to the Catholic Church to recommit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence
Did the Vatican Just Throw Out Its Just War Doctrine?
Historic Vatican conference calls for nonviolence and ‘just peace’
Cardinal Turkson: Papal encyclical on nonviolence, just war theory 'plausible'
Press Clip Source: Twincities.com Pioneer Press Date: February 17, 2016Written by:Rubén Rosario Read original article: Here
Mel Duncan was always a peace-loving man, but the light bulb really turned on and stayed on in 1999 during a visit to Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastery in southern France.
“He told me that my job was to enter the heart of my enemy,” Duncan said of the exiled monk, the only man the late Martin Luther King Jr. ever nominated for a Nobel Peace prize.
“We are beyond the place and time where we can pick sides,” Hanh said that day. “The stakes are much too high. We have to proceed from an understanding of oneness.”
The words stuck with Duncan, a former campaign organizer for the late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone.
“What he said sent me on a journey to challenge the dualistic way of seeing the world — us versus them, right versus wrong, good versus evil,” he said. That year, from the spare bedroom of his Como Park home, Duncan hatched a plan to create a “nonviolent peace force” with the help of friends and associates from Minnesota, across the country and overseas.
The Minnesota Fellowship of Reconciliation (MN FOR) is presenting "Peacemaker of the Year" to Mel Duncan at their annual fall conference on November 6th at Hamline University. Mel Duncan is the Director of Advocacy and Outreach at Nonviolent Peaceforce as well as co-founder of the organization. This conference marks the 75th anniversary of MN FOR.
In his meditation on nonviolence, theologian Richard Rohr observes, “The toothpaste is out of the tube.... For the first time, on a broad basis, future reformations can come from the inside out and from the bottom up, in a positive, nonviolent way.” Beyond the brutal “breaking news,” profound changes are reforming our understanding of relationships with one another and the planet. People, especially youth, know that perpetual war will not sustain life.
Society is beginning to recognize that civilians trained in nonviolent tactics can and do effectively protect others in conflict zones around the globe. To date, 12 international nongovernmental organizations provide unarmed civilian protection in 17 countries. The success of nonviolence can no longer be denied or minimized.
Two major UN reviews and a report from countries that supply UN troops for Peacekeeping Operations have cited and recommended unarmed civilian protection (UCP) as practiced by Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP). Last September, the UN General Assembly unanimously passed 17 Sustainable Development Goals, goal 16 specifically promotes peaceful and inclusive societies. None of the remaining Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved without sustainable peace.
Dear NP Supporters,
I am sitting in Juba. I have just returned from the field where I had the opportunity to visit multiple field sites and see our civilian protectors at work. Amid extreme violence and chaos, they are saving lives. Those of you who made an initial investment seven years ago can be very proud. Your support has led to 145 civilian protectors working in 11 locations.
We have a team of 21 at the Bentiu camp for internally displaced people in the northern part of the country where 129,000 people have fled violence. The majority are women and children. My heart has broken many times on this trip. Yet, there are glimmers and rays of hope as embodied by the women' groups with whom we are working at the camp (pictured below). Their spirit is strong. I am convinced that women will build the road to peace here.
Thank you so much for your on-going support and for promotion of unarmed civilian protection. I've shared some photos from South Sudan below.
With hope and resolve,
Mel DuncanFounding Director and Director of Advocacy and Outreach