Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Remembering

A local blogger wrote a post about Memorial Day and the comments set me to remembering my own past. It's taken me a while to put this together so it's (as often with me), the proverbial day late and a couple of dollars short.

I was a Navy kid and will probably be, in some ways, always a Navy kid. I went down to see the parade and got all choked up to see the young and the old, marching down Market St. Some are at the end of their life's span and others are fresh faced and eager. 

It was even sadder to see the young soldiers whose lives could be wasted in today's futile wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can't stand to listen to the nightly roll call of names. I honor the dead but not those who sit, fat, smug, wealthy and safe at home, sending them to die in a war that they know can't be won.

But I'd never be a strict pacifist because I know how hard won peace is. When we lived in Europe, we would visit the battlefields.  I remember walking down those rows and rows of white crosses, reading the names and thinking of all those who died in the bloody battles to free Europe from the Nazis and Fascism.

My dad served in the Pacific, my uncle served in the Aleutian Islands and my godfather was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. My brother served in the first Gulf war and I lost several friends in Vietnam. They all saw combat and were a lot less war-happy than today's faux warriors, who never marched into a battle, not knowing if they would come out alive.

Going to the memorials to the Holocaust and those who died because of Nazi barbarism was even more heart wrenching. I often think of how different our world would be today if all those millions hadn't perished in the carnage of WW II. Yet those battles had to be fought, that war had to be won. It is their sacrifice that I honor. 

1 comment:

A Cuban In London said...

What a poignant post. Which you make more touching by applying a pragmatic and realist magnifying glass to the current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many thanks.

Greetings from London.