The Paragon of Peace: John Hume, Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner: The Paragon of Peace

Across the wide Irish world, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate John Hume, who passed away on August 3rd, at the age of 83, was recognized, honored, and memorialized, by the common man and by leaders the world over. Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh called Hume the Paragon of Peace.

Hume and Ulster Unionist Party Lead David Trimble were awarded the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in designing, developing and fine-tuning the Good Friday Agreement, the historic document that brokered a lasting peace between divisive parties in the North and the south of Ireland.

Hume is credited with convincing the Provisional IRA to declare a cease-fire with the British in 1994. I remember walking up the midway at Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival and hearing the news. My dad, Festival Founder and Director John Sr., was walking the other way.  I told him, and his reaction will always stay with me.  We passed the news on to the MC’s at every stage, and shared the great news with festival goers across the fairgrounds.

Hume’s game-changing impact on our communities cannot be given due justice, well-articulated, nor ever forgotten.  The Good Friday agreement is Hume’s lasting, living legacy to peace, hope and the perseverance of that faith, love and hope for a brighter world, a world, until that agreement was reached, Ireland had never known.

I cannot do justice in my commentary, compared to those that worked with him, like our Senator George Mitchell, John Major, President Bill Clinton, and space cannot fit them all here.  Please check out the tributes online, for insight from those who had boots on the ground, with Mr. Hume.

The German theologian and Lutheran Pastor Emil Gustav Friedrich Martin Niemöller (14 January 1892 in Lippstadt; † 6. March 1984 in Wiesbaden), was best known for his opposition to the Nazi regime during the late 1930s, his thirst for peace, and for this poem:

Many versions have since been written or adapted; this is the one most well-known, to me

First They Came
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left,
to speak out.

Nuair a stadann an ceol, stadann an rince
(When the music stops, so does the dance)


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