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My friend Alden was one of more than a million men (American, British, and German) who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. That 1944—45 German offensive resulted in nearly 200,000 casualties; 100,000 Germans were killed, wounded, or captured, and Allied forces lost more than 19,000 soldiers. But the Allied lines held.

Alden doesn't enjoy talking about that episode. What he's passionate about are the causes of peace and nuclear disarmament. He would rather talk about peace activism than anything else, even music—and Alden loves to sing. We met in the bass section of a choral group. A former journalist and college professor, he's been arrested for acts of civil disobedience. And yet he probably would agree that the forces of fascism had to be stopped and that World War II was a classic "just war."

For me, Alden symbolizes the deep disquiet that people around the world are feeling as the human family searches for ways to prevent war and to prevent the development and use of weapons of mass destruction. There are no easy answers. But the communion that's going on between those seeking answers and the God who answers prayers is—as Sentinel Watch columnist Ryder Stevens puts it—the most powerful preemptive strike force there is.

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March 3, 2003

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