Then, honor the survivors…
I got a little introspective this year. Our family has been riddled with those who served, those who didn’t die in battle, but came home with their ghosts and their wounds. As we pass a day in remembrance of our war dead, I’d like to ask everyone to take a moment to remember the living as well.
My Dad spoke sparingly about his war, Korea, but it was clear that he was most scarred by man’s inhumanity to man. My grandfather hardly spoke of Italy at all, except to talk about how he was safe the whole time with a haunted expression. My grandfather never met a stranger. He was beloved by anyone who ever met him. I always suspected he waved friends off to battles they never returned from, and he did it over and over again. For him, that would have been torture.
There are other, more personal examples I could use about the families’ sacrifices as soldiers come home traumatized and emotionally destroyed, but they’re just too close. This memorial day when we talk about sacrifice, let’s really think about those sacrifices, all of them, and pray for what these men and women want most of all; an end to war.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower