On March 19, 2003, President George W. Bush gazed into a camera from behind his Oval Office desk and told the American people we were going to war with Iraq. We’ve been fighting ever since. Which means an entire generation of children has grown up knowing only a world in which the United States is at war. As we close out a decade of conflict, we couldn’t help but wonder what peace means to those children who’ve only ever known an embattled country. So we asked them.
"Peace means if you’re mad, you need to keep calm."
—Bryan Godines, 4th grade, Cheltenham Elementary School
“What peace means to me is that people won’t be involved in war or fighting. It is good to live in peace so you can be safe and won’t have to worry about anything. A peaceful world is a world without violence or guns.”
—Judith Pacheco, 4th grade, Horace Mann Middle School
“A peaceful world would be when everyone is helping each other through tough situations and not fighting about stuff. We can create a more peaceful community by having a nice community dinner so people can get together and find solutions to problems. We can talk and laugh together like a real family would, because everyone in the world is part of one large family."
—Perla Lopez, 5th grade, Trevista at Horace Mann ECE-8 School
"Peace means love."
—Anthony Fresquez, 4th grade, Cheltenham Elementary School
“Peace means to be honest and kind. It means to be comforting, not to be one who wants war. Peace has to be pondered, to be thought of as something that we want to be given. It has to be like a woodpecker and a tree, like us and the world, bonding a creature to its home.”
—Spencer Tanenholtz, 5th grade, Carson Elementary School
"Peace is a place where there’s no bullying."
—Suriana Mendez-Chan, 4th grade, Cheltenham Elementary School
“Peace means going to bed at night and feeling safe and good. It means living your life freely,
serenely, and without worry for yourself and others. Peace is feeling calm in your heart.”
—Everett Watterson, 5th grade, Carson Elementary School
"The most peaceful thing for me to do is to meditate."
—Ezekiel Harris, 3rd grade, Valdez Elementary School
“To me peace is soothing, and joyful. Like drinking a glass of tea. You don’t have to worry, like a snow day, you can just rest. No more tears of lost young ones or elders. No more pain or suffering. No more worrying, like a soft melody, like love and joy.”
—Michael Borne, 5th grade, Carson Elementary School
"Peace is getting along with each other instead of fighting. This kind of peace is not like a piece of cake."
—Quinn Kennedy, 3rd grade, Valdez Elementary School
5280.com Exclusive: Click to read more thoughts on peace from Colorado's youth.