I became a U.S. Marine at 17 years of age and went to war at 18. I have spent the last 50 years coming to terms with the heartache, misery and mental anguish of combat. There have been regrets, tears and personal recriminations. Over time it has become something I can understand and, in a limited sense, finally accept.

What took place at Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17 is such an abomination, such a tragedy and an insult to our basic sense of humanity that it overwhelms me and makes sane any feelings I had regarding war. I know I don’t have 50 years to process this blasphemy, and I doubt if 50 years would be enough. What have we become if we in any way tolerate such an affront to our fellow man?

Steve Driscoll

Folly Road

Charleston