Five years after founding The Gratitude Campaign, I've received over 10,500 e-mails, and 1,500 comments on YouTube. It seems that there is a lot to talk about with regard to gratitude for those who serve; not the least of which is the ever present challenge of understanding how to keep the politics out of it. Hopefully this blog will give us an opportunity for some rational, reasonable, and respectful discussion. I hope you'll join us...

~Scott Truitt, FOUNDER


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On The Peace Sign - Part 2

Based on the feedback we’ve received to last week’s blog, it seems that there are some strong opinions out there about the Peace sign and its role on our web site. Some of the feedback has raised some interesting issues around the topic that I think are worth discussing in greater detail. So I am going to address some of those issues in some follow-up blogs in the coming weeks, beginning today.

First and foremost, I think that it’s important to point out what I probably should have included in the first blog on this topic, and that is that it is not, nor has it ever been our intention to try to change how Vietnam Veterans feel about their experience including how they feel about the Peace sign and what it represents to them. Their experience is their own, and we have no judgments about that. Our message, and our web site, is targeted primarily at civilians and encouraging them to express their gratitude to those who serve in their own way. The Gratitude Sign is just one way of expressing gratitude. There are many others.

With respect to the Peace sign and its role on our web site, I’ll keep this first follow-up relatively short and say simply this:

On U2’s 1988 album Rattle and Hum, Bono introduces the song Helter Skelter by saying, “This is a song that Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. We’re stealing it back.” What I hear in that is, “We’re not going to let Charles Manson twist the meaning of this song, or ruin this song and what it means to us. We’re going to embrace it, and focus our attention on the positive aspects of the message in the song, and make it ours.”

In the late 60’s and early 70’s anti-war protestors (not to be confused with Peace activists) stole the Peace sign, and twisted its meaning for many Vietnam Veterans. We’re stealing it back.


  1. After reading the comments that came after mine below the last weeks posting, I'd have assumed that one would see clearly what most of us feel about the peace sign.... 90% negative.
    But forging ahead, I've decided to steal the swastika back too and make it symbolize universal love and respect for mammals and other fuzzy, lovable creatures. Granted, I can't quote Bono or even a local Holiday Inn lounge act in support of this but I think everyone will understand. Really??

  2. With all due respect, Mr./Ms. Anyonymous, over 18,000 people saw our post on Facebook, and over 300 of them read the blog. Of the over 300 that read it, only 7 left comments that were in opposition to the sign. That's about 2.3% -- not 90%.

    I respect and appreciate your point of view, and your right to your own opinion. At the same time, I'll just be honest that I wasn't asking for a vote on whether or not we should keep the sign on our site.

    I wish you the best of luck in stealing back the swastika. While I don't suspect that you weren't being terribly sincere with that statement, it wouldn't be a bad thing if someone did steal that back...

  3. I think that is a great idea... as for the peace sign, I'm a Vietnam era veteran and not offended by it as some seem to be, as I never related it to my fellow service members but rather as an objection to the war in general. As a very good friend of mine recently reminded me, Remember no one prays for peace more than a solder.

  4. Thank you for your comment, Paul. And more importantly, thank you for your service. Welcome Home...

  5. Scott, You must be very young. Guess you had to be around in the 60's to understand. There are more important issues than the revolting peace sign to address. Let us move on like grown-up's. We are loosing focus.

  6. I have just found your site and your blog. Thank you!! Thank you for all you do to help our Servicemen and Women feel loved. I have a son who is an Army ROTC scholarship recipient. It is so nice to have people say thank you. Freedom isn't free and it's nice to see that people appreciate the sacrifice.

  7. Thank you for stealing it back...to often people mis-use a symbol, a phrase, a bible verse...and if enough people hear it, see it, repeat it...it's true meaning is lost...Peace is peace people, and it's just that simple. This blog, this website, is devoted to honoring people who have to serve to preserve peace for all of us...and to ensure that we have the freedom to have this debate. If you don't like this site, because of the use of the peace symbol..don't follow the blogs...you have that right. You can write your own blogs, build your own website, create your own way of honoring our military members, that is what these brave men and women fight for...just for you

  8. Thank you Scott, for creating this "thank you" movement. and Thank you to all those who fight for freedom and fight to protect us all. Service men and women, those in law enforcement and in fire protection, ALL those who protect us, save us and fight for freedom, because they want to


One of the things that we at The Gratitude Campaign are most grateful for is our Freedom of Speech. But with Freedom comes responsibility. We ask that you keep your comments constructive and respectful to others. Disagreement is fine -- in fact, we celebrate it. Let's just show that we can disagree peacefully and respectfully.

Out of respect to the families of those who have served and struggled, please do not use last names when referring to Service Members. Posts with last names may be removed.