World War II veteran honored for peace activism

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(Host) The Peace and Justice Center in Burlington is honoring a World War Two veteran and peace activist at an event this weekend.

88-year-old Ed Everts lives in Charlotte and for ten years hosted a cable access program that featured local and national peace activists.

He did his final broadcast last March. And this Saturday he’ll be presented a lifetime achievement award for his activism and volunteer activities.

Everts was in the Air Force during World War 2, making reconnaissance runs across the Pacific…and recalls the time near the end of the war when a mechanical failure sent his plane into the water:

(Everts) Those long flights, they were up to 16 hours or so…see, those planes they were stressed. On the way back we lost the oil pump…and it was the outboard right propeller, and without the oil it melted off the shaft, so we came down — nice splash — and we went underwater for a ways and then came floating to the top, and then we just floated around for 72 hours. We had very little water…whatever food there was supposed to be turned out to be some candy — sweet stuff — and so essentially we had only that for 3 days. We lost 4 people. It was impossible for us to paddle up against the wind to where the back of the plane was to get those 4, so it was tragic.”

(Host) Everts says his war experience brought him into contact with diverse groups of people, and instilled in him a belief that negotiation is preferable to conflict.

Everts says the war in Iraq is authorized by people who don’t have much at stake:

(Everts) “I think if you had a draft, and if the children of the senators, representatives, and executive officers had to be drafted too, there would be a lot more thought about starting a war.”

(Host) Everts says he’s humbled by the Peace and Justice Center lifetime achievement award, which he’ll receive in a ceremony on Saturday during a sunset cruise around Lake Champlain.

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