The poet William Stafford, was a registered pacifist in the United States. From 1942 to 1946, during WWII, he worked in camps and projects for conscientious objectors. He was paid $2.50 per month for assigned duties such as fire fighting, soil conservation, and building and maintaining roads and trails.  This poem speaks volumes to me.

Learning
 
A piccolo played, then a drum.
Feet began to come - a part of the music.  Here comes a horse,
clippety clop, away.
 
My mother said, "Don't run - 
the army is after someone
other than us.  If you stay
you'll learn our enemy."
 
Then he came, the speaker.  He stood
in the square.  He told us who
to hate.  I watched my mother's face,
its quiet.  "That's him," she said.
 
~ William Stafford ~
 
(The Way It Is)
 

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