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Quotations about Peace

Peace is the father of friendship. ~African proverb

One must look hard through history to find when a clear understanding of the truth moved anyone to fire the first shot. ~Robert Brault,

Being myself a quiet individual I take it that what all men are really after is some form or perhaps only some formula of peace. ~Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes, 1911

Question:  How would you like to die?
Walter Cronkite:  In my sleep after celebrating the outbreak of permanent world peace.
~Proust questionnaire, in Vanity Fair, 1997

Peace hath higher tests of manhood
      Than battle ever knew...
~John Greenleaf Whittier, "The Hero"

Five great enemies to peace inhabit with us, viz., avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; and, if these enemies were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace. ~Petrarch

Yes, we love peace, but we are not willing to take wounds for it, as we are for war. ~John Andrew Holmes, Wisdom in Small Doses, 1927

If in this present age we were to go back to the old time of "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," there would be very few hon. gentlemen in this House who would not, metaphorically speaking, be blind and toothless. ~Mr. Graham, 1914, Canadian House of Parliament member, commonly attributed to Mahatma Gandhi as "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."  [Thanks,! —tg]

And Peace shall cast afar her seed,
Shall set the fields where skulls have lain...
~Olive Tilford Dargan (1869–1968), "Beyond War"

      There is one armor that the world of men and women, as a world, has never put on. The churches have long bungled with its fastening, but the world has gone unaffected, and few have been those in whose hands the mystical sword of the spirit has shone with daily use.
      This armor, waiting to be worn, is the armor of brotherhood and sacrifice, the sword of unselfishness, a conquering sword, with the power, when used, to unite the world in love. And there are none who may not put it on.
      A dream of the poets? Yes. But there are dreams that come true. Even now the poet's voice is merged and drowned in the universal cry, Disarm. The prudent and fearful hold back, and ask, "Disarm, and stand defenseless?" The answer comes, to all a single answer, "Disarm and arm again, with a new armor, not yet tried." ~M. A. DeWolfe Howe, "Re-Armament," 1921

If you go, go in Peace it makes the flowers sweeter along the path. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009

It is well enough in time of peace to prepare for war, but most folks are more anxious, when a fight is on, to prepare for peace. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Every ambitious would-be empire clarions it abroad that she is conquering the world to bring it peace, security and freedom, and is sacrificing her sons only for the most noble and humanitarian purposes. That is a lie, and it is an ancient lie, yet generations still rise and believe it! ~Taylor Caldwell, Testimony of Two Men, 1968  [Credit: I found this quotation while reading —tg]

I like to believe that the people, in the long run, are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. I think people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of their way and let them have it. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Lord, let War's tempest cease,
Fold the whole Earth in peace
      Under thy wings!
Make all Thy nations one,
All hearts beneath the sun...
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Our Fathers' Land," 1860

I ask of life the best of kindness, sincerity and forgiveness for the wealth of peace. ~Sri Ismail, @sanguinesri, January 2012 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

We have all taken risks in the making of war and in the going into wars. Is it not time that we should take some risks to secure peace? So long as we think of peace in terms of war we shall never get peace. ~James Ramsay MacDonald, c.1930

Although war is more horrible than it ever war, peace is more beautiful. And as the contrast deepens the world gains. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, George Horace Lorimer, editor, as reprinted in Poor Richard Jr's Almanack, 1906

      We look upon this shaken earth, and we declare our firm and fixed purpose — the building of a peace with justice in a world where moral law prevails. The building of such a peace is a bold and solemn purpose. To proclaim it is easy. To serve it will be hard. And to attain it, we must be aware of its full meaning — and ready to pay its full price...
      We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom. And now, as in no other age, we seek it because we have been warned, by the power of modern weapons, that peace may be the only climate possible for human life itself.
      Yet this peace we seek cannot be born of fear alone: it must be rooted in the lives of nations. There must be justice, sensed and shared by all peoples, for, without justice the world can know only a tense and unstable truce. There must be law, steadily invoked and respected by all nations, for without law, the world promises only such meager justice as the pity of the strong upon the weak. But the law of which we speak, comprehending the values of freedom, affirms the equality of all nations, great and small...
      So we voice our hope and our belief that we can help to heal this divided world. Thus may the nations cease to live in trembling before the menace of force. Thus may the weight of fear and the weight of arms be taken from the burdened shoulders of mankind. This, nothing less, is the labor to which we are called and our strength dedicated. And so the prayer of our people carries far beyond our own frontiers, to the wide world of our duty and our destiny. May the light of freedom, coming to all darkened lands, flame brightly — until at last the darkness is no more. May the turbulence of our age yield to a true time of peace, when men and nations shall share a life that honors the dignity of each, the brotherhood of all. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957

Peace.— A cessation of those wholesale murders which prevail during three quarters of every century in this enlightened æra, and which are sanctioned and inculcated by all Christian governments under the name of War. ~"Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words," 1824–1825, The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A Beauty Bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air — explode softly — and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth — boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn't go cheap, either — not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination. ~Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, 1986

Let us love the world to peace. ~Eileen Elias Freeman, The Angels' Little Instruction Book, 1994

The Kingdom of holiness, the Kingdom of helpfulness, the Kingdom of peace, the Kingdom of good-will is in you!... a warless world will come as men develop warless hearts. ~Charles Wesley Burns, "Goodwill to Men," 1927

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me...
~Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, "Let There Be Peace on Earth," 1955, © Jan-Lee Music ♫

If only Peace were the surname of all mankind. ~Terri Guillemets

We shall never be able to effect physical disarmament until we have succeeded in effecting moral disarmament. People don't fight for the reasons they give for it after they have got into the war; they fight because something has happened; because a train of circumstances has happened that puts their nerves on edge which makes them unhappy in their suspicions; which makes them feel unsafe and insecure until by a continuation of that mentality they come to the conclusion. ~James Ramsay MacDonald, c.1929

Here in 1882 we are in the age of civilization. One hundred years hence, by 1982, we will be in the age of enlightenment. We will then have only to anticipate one more age, that of pure reason, which will also be the era of unbroken peace. ~Edward Payson Powell (1833–1915), "New Year in 1982," Liberty and Life: Discourses by E. P. Powell, 1889  [a little altered —tg]

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