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Peace Resource Center Holding Book Signing for 'Step by Step, Rust in Peace'

Sharon Drees: "These people stood up and said, "There must be a better way.' They chose to put their trust in things other than (military) weapons."

September 14, 2011

The book cover photograph depicts Wilmington College students walking to the state capital in protest of the escalation of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the killings at Kent State University just days prior to the march.

The book cover photograph depicts Wilmington College students walking to the state capital in protest of the escalation of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the killings at Kent State University just days prior to the march.

Author Sharon Drees will be on hand Wednesday (Sept. 21) at Wilmington College’s Peace Resource Center to autograph copies of her book, Step by Step, Rust in Peace: The Quiet Peacemakers of Wilmington College, 1940–1976.

The 7:30 p.m. event was purposely selected to occur on the International Day of Peace.

Step by Step tells the story of, as Dorothy J. Maver, president of the National Peace Academy said, “intentional nonviolence and the legacy of peace activism” at Wilmington College.

The book highlights the Quaker College’s activism and its endorsement of seeking alternatives to violence from World War II through the Vietnam War era.

Drees, who conducted her research as a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati, said learning of these persons’ personal testimonies to peace and nonviolence was a transforming factor in her own “personal faith journey.”

“Grounded in the teachings of Jesus Christ, so much of what they argued brought to life things in my personal faith,” she said.

“I found most fascinating the continuum of people that oppose all wars. It revolutionized my thinking about war,” Drees added. “These people stood up and said, ‘There must be a better way. They chose to put their trust in things other than (military) weapons.”

The “Rust in Peace” reference in the title alludes to a cartoon featured in a 1949 issue of Quaker Quips, the College’s student newspaper. Only three years after Hiroshima, the illustration features an atomic bomb on which was a placard stating “rust in peace.”

“Wilmington College has an extraordinary heritage,” Drees said. “Not only should Wilmington be proud of it, but they should proclaim it from the rooftops.”

WC’s Peace Resource Center published the book, which is available through the PRC’s Web site at <www.wilmington.edu/prc> and at the center, 51 College St. Also, it can be mail-ordered by sending $6.12 and $3 for postage and handling (P&H is $1 for each additional book and Ohio residents should add 43 cents sales tax per book) to: Peace Resource Center, Wilmington College, 1870 Quaker Way, Wilmington, OH 45177.

The author has directed that all proceeds from book sales will benefit the Peace Resource Center.