Civilian Public Service

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Memorial Service for Don Booth, Feb. 5

Dear Friends,

Don Booth passed away peacefully Friday morning January 21, with family at his side.  He was 94.  We were very fortunate, as Don had squeezed every last available second out of his life, right to the end.  He took so much joy in the people around him, that even when he was confined by his heart condition to sleep nearly 24 hours a day, when he did wake up it was inevitably with a huge smile and arms outstretched to celebrate his time with us. If he had any regrets in life, we did not hear them.

They served without weapons: World War II conscientious objectors service as "human guinea pigs"

In 1940, an act of the U.S. Congress created Civilian Public Service for men who were conscientiously opposed to serving in the military. The intent was to organize "work of national importance under civilian direction," so conscientious objectors (COs) could give meaningful alternative service. Initially, "work of national importance" included road building and reforestation projects. As the war continued, an opportunity was offered to conscientious objectors to participate in scientific experiments as "human guinea pigs." This gave COs the opportunity to prove themselves ready to serve in dangerous situations that would not require taking human life. 

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