September 24, 2002 - 911: One Year Later - Sargent Shriver and the Politics of Life - US Ambassador to Thailand returns to Peace Corps Site 40 years later - A Profile of Gaddi Vasquez - Where the Peace Corps Legislation Stands

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By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 - 9:55 am: Edit Post

Welcome to Peace Corps Online - September 24, 2002

A summary of Peace Corps News and Issues from around the world.

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……….IN THIS ISSUE…………………………………..

1. 911: One Year Later - What it means to RPCVs
2. Sargent Shriver and the Politics of Life
3. US Ambassador to Thailand returns to Peace Corps Site 40 years later
4. A Profile of Gaddi Vasquez
5. Where the Peace Corps Legislation Stands
6. Peace Corps Cartoons

……….1. 911: ONE YEAR LATER

America has fundamentally changed since last year's horrific terrorist
attacks, but not all for the better.

We are still trying to fathom the depths of the hatred that brought this
incredible catastrophe to our land and transformed our lives. The fallout
from the tragedy, with its senseless loss of life, will be felt for years
to come. Indeed, it was a sad turning point for America.

Since then, we have learned some truths about ourselves. Happily, one is
that we as a nation will always rally together in a crisis and meet the
challenges. But another is that our image in the eyes of others is not
what it is to us. Many see us as arrogant and uncaring about the rest of
the world.

Read these essays on how America has changed since 911 including a
statement from Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez on how we are not a
perfect nation and we have examined ourselves as a nation and come to the
realization that we have much work to do to eradicate the ignorance that
fosters hatred, anger, hostility and ultimately violence.

Read the op-ed pieces at:


Read and comment on this story from the National Catholic Reporter on the
grace and service that have marked Sargent Shriver's career of more than
40 years. The list of programs he started, defended and expanded while
seven presidents have come and gone, includes: Peace Corps, Head Start,
Job Corps, Legal Services, Upward Bound, Community Action, Foster
Grandparents, VISTA and Special Olympics, which Shriver and his wife of
nearly 50 years have nurtured since 1968

Shriver once expressed his political philosophy in a speech to a Peace
Corps audience:

"The politics of death is bureaucracy, routine, rules, status quo. The
politics of life is personal initiative, creativity, flair, dash, a
little daring. The politics of death-is calculation, prudence, measured
gestures. The politics of life is experience, spontaneity, grace,
directness. The politics of death is fear of youth. The politics of life
is to trust the young to their own experiences."

Someone once criticized Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for having built
a "cult of personality" around Sargent Shriver. But it's not that at all.
It is our respect for a man who has lived for his ideals, worked to turn
them into reality, and taught us to do the same. Read the story at:


Darryl N Johnson, the US ambassador to Thailand returned to the small
school in Lamphun earlier this year where he taught almost 40 years ago
as a young Peace Corp volunteer. The ambassador maintained his pose as he
met old friends and students at the Chakkhamkhanaton School. Most of his
students are now in their 50s. Accompanied by his wife Kathleen, Johnson
kept smiling under the burning sun, and could have stayed there all day
to remind him of the past when life was less hectic. Deep inside Johnson
must be feeling very content and proud, for when he left Lamphun in 1965
he vowed to come back one day - as the US ambassador.

"Today is a special day for me. My dream of coming back as the ambassador
has come true," he said in fluent Thai. "I am glad to meet you all again.
It's like I'm coming home," Johnson said. "Over the past years, I have
been thinking of Lamphun and every thing here. In those days, it was more
quiet and peaceful. But it is still a very beautiful city." Read the
story at:


Read and comment on this story from Gaddi Vasquez's hometown newspaper,
the Orange County Register, on how Vasquez knows what it's like to be a
Peace Corps worker in a developing country because he lived in Third
World conditions without having to go overseas, how there are concerns
that Vasquez will use this job to get back into elected politics like a
previous director, the late Sen. Paul Coverdell, how Vasquez wants to
make his mark on the Peace Corps by meeting Bush's challenge to double
the number of volunteers and how it is important for him to find a way
into communities where the Peace Corps is an unknown. Read the story at:


Read the story from NPCA Advocacy Listserv on the two scenarios that the
NPCA sees developing with regard to Peace Corps legislation: that Senate
Democrats resolve all issues in Conference Committee between the two
Houses during September; or that House staffers hold possible hearings no
earlier than the end of September followed by a mark-up (amendment)
session in the House International Relations Committee at an indefinite
later date.

What this means is that it more important than ever for RPCVs to make
their voices heard on Senate Bill S 2667 and House bill HR 4979. Read
the full story on what is in the new legislation and what you can do to
support it at:


Last month we put up our Peace Corps Cartoon called "Protest" and asked
our readers to come up with the funniest caption. See what RPCVs wrote
and compare it to the original caption. Then, take a look at our
cartoon for this month - "Jeep" - and come up with your own caption for
it at:


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