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Archive for November 11th, 2011

Remember

There are things that others have said to me when I was a child, and those words still come to mind at times. Words hurt!  Words of truth (when spoken in love) only hurt for awhile, but words that have no basis in truth, and have no benefit … the pain that they inflict lasts forever.

Not that long ago I had asked for prayer (in a Christian grouping) for those in our armed forces who put their life on the line, by their own choice, for others who cannot. I heard later that ‘someone’ was offended that I would ask for prayer for … s o l d i e r s … Apparently my prayer request was ‘pro war’ …

And, I would do it again.

Every year we take our kids to the local cenotaph, to remember. They have nothing to remember that has touched their lives directly, but that does not erase their need to be reminded of what we are to remember. George Santayana (a Spanish-American poet) said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” May that not be said of my children, or their generation.

Many of their friends (and ours) will be spending their ‘holiday’ at the mall, sleeping in or playing video games. And, I do not begrudge them of that, since their freedom to choose how they spend Remembrance Day was bought with the blood of the same men and women we remember. But, as for me, and my house, we will remember.

I am not pro war, anymore than the men and women who choose (and have chosen) to stand in the crossfire for the sake of another. Even a pacifist should be able to humbly sacrifice a thank-you, or … offer a prayer for those who have provided peace for others.

I am idealistic enough to believe that words are better than weapons. But, I am also realistic enough to acknowledge that for peace to come through communication and not weapons, it needs to come from both sides. In our war history, there are those who had no intent to compromise for the greater good. People like Stalin, Hitler, Slobodan Milosevic and Bin Laden were not individuals whose ideologies included advice, or compromise. They were individuals whose ideologies only included their own self-serving, hunger for power, and dominance over others. And they could not be stopped by peaceful means … every day meant death for innocent people. Until others stepped in (on behalf of the victims) and risked their own lives, and spilled their own blood, to save the lives of countless people.

That is what a soldier does, they risk their lives to save and protect the lives of those who cannot protect themselves. It is not the ideal that we, or they, would choose, but, we do not always have a choice. It does not make them pro-war, it makes them pro-life. And they are willing to give theirs, even for those who won’t remember.

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