Archive - May 26, 2014

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Ernesto Butcher (Korea 1968-70) Unsung by the Peace Corps
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Remarks in Bonn at the Signing of a Charter Establishing the German Peace Corps, 24 June 1963 – President Kennedy

Ernesto Butcher (Korea 1968-70) Unsung by the Peace Corps

You most likely have never heard of Ernesto Butcher unless you were a PCV in South Korea in 1968-70, or you worked for the New York Port Authority in the days of 9/11. I never heard of him until Dick Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) alerted me to Ernesto Butcher’s obituary in The New York Times on Saturday, May 24, 2014. Ernesto Butcher died on May 15 in Maplewood, N.J. He was 69. He apparently had a heart attack while jogging according to his wife, Kristen Peck Butcher. Most RPCV operate (with some exceptions) in the shadow of fame or notoriety and are content on getting the job done. Perhaps it is a hangover from working in totally obscurity in faraway villages of the world and just being satisfied with what can be accomplished without a lot of fanfare. Ernesto Butcher appears to have been that sort of guy, and it has . . .

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Remarks in Bonn at the Signing of a Charter Establishing the German Peace Corps, 24 June 1963 – President Kennedy

On Memorial Day, the nation pauses to remember and honor those who died defending this country in War.  President Kennedy honored those not merely by recognizing their sacrifice but by working to make such sacrifices not necessary. In his last summer in his office, he signed the Test Ban Treaty with Russia and toured Europe, making his famous “Ich Bin a Berliner” at the Berlin Wall.Perhaps his most eloquent speech on behalf of peace, is the one he made in Bonn, Germany, heralding the beginning of the German Peace Corps.  I think it is fitting to listen again to him.  The President speaks of the conflict with Communism, a conflict that is now won and done.  But we face new threats and challenges,” including the common enemies of mankind.”  Kennedy’s words still ring true. Here  is this gem: Kennedy speaking about the creation of the German Peace Corps. It is . . .

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