Count me among the millions for whom Pete Seger was a light, an inspiration, a moral compass, a teacher.
When I was 22, the Selective Service had turned down my Conscious Objector application. My choice: go fight in Vietnam, or face five years in prison.
On July 4, 1966 Reb Shlomo appeared onstage with Pete at the Berkeley Folk Festival. Pete’s presence, his music, his message and his example, strengthened my courage to refuse to fight, and to stand firm for peace. Shlomo’s presence, his music and his message, helped me connect my stance for peace to an even greater purpose – being part of bringing “the great day of love and peace” to the whole world.
As luck would have it, due to the inefficiencies of the Selective Service System, my case fell through the cracks, and I managed to avoid both the senseless killing in Vietnam and five years in prison. And that day in 1966 remains a high point of my life.