Thursday, November 13, 2008
Veterans Day Reflection......
Pondering, reflecting, seems to be a trend this week as Lucy has bounced off of my thoughts for a post and I, here, plan to return the favor…..
Lucy mentions the fact (my paraphrase)that “looking away” from something too painful to witness can be the easiest of courses to follow at times. Yet, not always the preferable way to face a situation for the peace of one’s heart. I found just this situation on the a.m. of November 11, 2009, Veteran’s Day here in the USA.
Although I imagined though not certain, that there would be a parade, albeit small, down the middle of our main street, it was raining and I did not plan to attend. (The morning’s parade was confirmed to me in the evening by a front page picture-story of a band of our veterans proudly marching, flags flying, in the drizzling rain to the small audience that applauded their efforts.)
That parade thought came into my mind and out as I searched briefly through the news channels for anything outrageous or appropriately necessary to the management of my day. Clicking channel by channel I came upon the CNN story of Mothers meeting in Arlington Cemetery to mourn their recently deceased sons and daughters – victims and martyrs most recently of the wars raging in Afghanistan and Iraq. Click or no click? How is this story going to affect me? Me, me, me? How is this story going to affect me?!!
I watched, I cried, I mourned for these beautiful women – young, old, mixed racial backgrounds and religions all brought together to mourn the children they loved as I love mine, the children they sent away hoping, praying they would be safe from harm. Their prayers were not answered positively. Their beautiful children are dead, in the ground, all the mothers' memories as clear as the day their children were born, the day the kids rode their first bikes, graduated from high school, planned for their bright futures. Dead.
Can we conceive what Veterans Day means to millions, millions of people in this world? Do we honor our veterans? Do we applaud their service? Do we stand in the rain to applaud their wounds, our flag – or do we stay home because it’s drizzling and because it’s not our child who has been sacrificed?
I wonder at my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness applause in the last days prior to and following the election of a new American President. I pray for the new President and for those who will have a hand in ending wars and “managing” global affairs. We’ve witnessed a world-changing event with this election. Will we ever witness the day of no war casualties? Should we look away and save our hurt at the loss of others while our families remain safe....or should we watch and realize that their losses are our losses as well?