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Yearning for Peace Recurring Theme in Travels Abroad

July 24, 1988

I was part of the art group that went to the Soviet Union and Helsinki, Finland, June 2 to 16 with Gene Isaacson of Rancho Santiago and Orange Coast College art departments. Because it was a college art group, the opportunities were challenging. Gene constantly encourages participation and exchange of ideas.

Often, after a full day followed by an evening of concerts or a ballet, a group of us would walk the streets. We were on our own. There were chance meetings with young people. Some spoke English. They seemed puzzled and then delighted to talk to this laughing, roving group of Americans in the middle of the night. A recurring theme in all conversations was a yearning for peace and resolving of differences between our countries.

Massive problems face each country. The key to future peace has to be an aware and educated population. On our return, the first news we heard was that schools have received another budget cut and billions have been squandered in the Pentagon. How shortsighted and tragic. The emphasis on education in the Soviet Union is pervasive. We have seen the effects of intensive education in Japan and Korea. In my opinion, it is ignorance we should fear as the No. 1 one enemy in the United States.

ANN ANSON

Newport Beach

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