In one of the blogs I visit daily, bikesbirdsnbeasts, the author asks readers for their thoughts on “the usefulness and significance of this day set aside for remembrance.” It got me thinking. A lot.
My blog is primarily about my critters, yet also about nature, biodiversity, the environment, life. And what has greater implications for life in all its forms than the impact of war?
I have always been bothered by the glorification of war, and my pacifism leads me to ask "What if...”
• What if the ONLY media image we saw today was the 1972 Nick Ut photo of naked 9 year old Kim Phuc, burned by napalm, fleeing her bombed-out village with other crying, terrifed children?
• What if the men and women of the armed forces marched today with their heads bowed in sorrow instead of held high with pride?
• What if those men and women wore signs around their necks that said: “I killed a little girl’s father”; “I dropped bombs that killed children”; “I saw my best friend’s head blown off” ; “War was a nightmare”; “The trenches were full of sewage” ; “I was so terrified I lost control of my bowels”; "We destroyed the habitat of millions of living creatures" ?
Is that not more honest than the images and stories of war that are served up with ceremony today? Would that not go further in promoting the slogan “Never Again !” than the glorification of war we see all around us all year long?
What if we raised our children to celebrate diversity, to resolve problems without violence, to be compassionate and humane to all living things?
What if we learned to live harmoniously, respecting our differences, and with true regard for the rights of all living things?
What if war was truly UNTHINKABLE?
I believe it is important to remember those who died - not because they "died for my freedom" but because they killed and were killed in horrible, frightening, terrifying circumstances. Civilians of all ages, and soldiers who were often hardly out of childhood themselves, have died needlessly because powerful men in powerful nations lacked the skills to sort out their differences peacefully.
We have to remember the ugliness of war so that we will be inspired to find a better way. All life depends on it.
Unhappy Remembrance Day. Lest We Forget.