(Image from Wikimedia Commons, licensing info HERE).
Two years ago I bought a little browned book for twenty-five cents; it was published in 1968, and it was a war journal.This past Thursday, when my purse only allowed a thin, small something the size of a day planner, Daniel Berrigan’s Night Flight to Hanoi: War Diary with 11 Poems was the only book that would fit. I am not one for superstition; I usually laugh when someone speaks heartily of coincidence. Yet, in many ways, the happenstance of my reading this book has changed that–it has, if I may, made me believe.
Daniel Berrigan, who turned eighty-nine on May 9th, is a Roman Catholic priest who has spent his life protesting against violence, writing essays and poems that reflect his hope for societal and political change. He has been arrested many, many times for his peace protests, but also for more radical actions–he spent eighteen months in jail after burning draft notices during the Vietnam War. In Night Flight to Hanoi Berrigan describes his imprisonment, as well as his time spent in Vietnam, when, along with the late Howard Zinn, he accompanied three American prisoners on their release–this was an offering of peace from the Vietnamese–back to the United States.