Man has yearned for peace since the beginning of time. And yet, more ruinous wars are fought with each generation with more lives shattered with each successive combat.
In my lifetime I have seen too many wars and the devastation that ensued. I was in high school when WWII broke out. The draft was immediately put in place. At my graduation ceremony there was a sobering moment when the young men in the graduation class who were already in one of the services were asked to stand. Half of the boys stood up and we all knew that meant they would go directly to war. Some went to their deaths; or to lives shattered by the horrible things they witnessed or had to do. It was called combat fatigue then, but is now diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder.
WWII was followed by a few years of relative peace for Americans, but soon some of our young husbands were sent to the Korean War. This was followed by the Viet Nam war in time for our sons to be drafted into that terrible conflict.
My son enlisted in the Navy to avoid the Army (or to void being cannon fodder, as they then said). I was fortunate that he was a good musician and was accepted into special services and served his time during the Viet Nam War in the Navy band on aircraft carriers.
We all know the suffering that the two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, has heaped upon many of this generation. The war in Afghanistan rages on unabated with six more families getting the word yesterday that their young men were killed. Instead of celebrating this Christmas, they will be in mourning. They join too many families that have gone through this unspeakable pain.
While the wars have stolen our youth and depleted our treasure, until 9/11, they have been even more catastrophic for our enemies. It is always the innocent who pay the most terrible price in any war. And for what?
Unless a country is attacked, I believe that wars are started by a few corrupt powerful men for pure greed. Oh yes, they give us the platitudes that it is for our safety and the war is necessary. Nonsense!! I am an old woman and have seen enough exploitation of the masses to know that this is the most venal of manipulation. Brain washing on a large scale is the way to control we, the people. Tragically, it works.
I am sure you have heard the old 'saw' that as long as there are two men and one woman there will be war. Of course, that's trite but there is a kernel of truth in the statement. While we are programmed to fight or flight, I cannot believe that this includes war.
During this season when we yearn for peace let us refuse to be manipulated into continuing the dreadful war in a country far removed that has ruined so many lives Let us rise up en mass and demand an end to the Afghanistan war that continues to hemorrhage death and destruction.
Peace is taught by all religions; let us demand of our leaders that they listen to the 'word' and follow its precepts.
My wish for all is a peaceful world. My special wish for you is a joyous holiday season. May good health and happiness be yours in 2011 and may we see an end to war.