WWII hits home..... again..... for the first time
Never having bought war bonds or gone through rationing or feeling my heart drop when my newly-wedded spouse either enlisted or was drafted I had always been detached from the immediacy of those moments - hours - days - months - years that this country went about assisting others by putting the life blood of its youth and young adults on the line.
My family never spoke of the hardships, the ups and downs, the fear of being handed a telegram from the State Department/Department of War. There was never a gold star in Mare's window.
My uncle was drafted again for the Korean 'conflict' - and, young as I was, did not know where he had gone or when he would be home.
Ken Burn's latest piece "The War" has brought me close to those events and images that had been so distant. They, mostly in black and white stills and file footage, have brought the grim realities of war to the forefront of my heart and mind. Even Vietnam - the un-war - occurring during my both high school and post high school days did not hit so hard.
Now through this unparalleled documentary I am looking at the faces of war.
None of the faces are victorious. There are survivors and those who did not survive. There was fanatisim, bravery, arrogance and thousands upon thousands of lost lives: military and civilian alike. Thousands upon thousands of untold stories and lives cut short or truncated through grief, disability or madness.
Whether this war or those waged currently between races, creeds, ideologies, denominations, tribes, classes worldwide ... what are they worth? What does a man gain if he win wealth, power, domination but lose his soul?
The question has been asked many times - and we still war on. I have no answer.
My heart goes out to those in this country's armed forces and to their families - they bear a heavier burden than I will ever carry. It goes out to those lost in the crossfire, caught in the crosshairs, on the receiving end of any weapon.
I pray that peace may cover the earth and that a contagion of hope and goodwill may spread everywhere. No weapon do I bear but the prayer that reason and compassion will prevail and that we may finally be filled with the grace to begin to understand God's peace which to this point has eluded our understanding both here and abroad. Amen.