Have always thought, " My kids can’t know this feeling. How could they? It’s not their fault. They weren’t young children in the early 40s when the war to end all wars was taking place. Posters, movies, newsreels, ration books, war bonds – being surrounded by the sights and sounds – albeit a safe few thousand miles away from the actual events." And yet they have now lived through similar wars and feelings.
Feelings similar, I imagine, to mine that erupt in tears and emotions that squeeze my heart whenever I hear patriotic and/or just plain old-fashioned songs from the 20's, 30's, and 40's.
And then I think, "What must God feel? What must He think looking down on His children – ALL his children – not just those of us who are "Amuricuns" . . . ?"
War was not invented by God. War was invented by humans . . . God’s children. Who believe their "tribe" is "the people" and anyone else is "the other". Lumped all together, the "other", then, become easy to despise . . . and hate . . . and kill. Down through the eons of time.
The bigger the tribe, the more advanced the civilization.
* * * *"My, what big eyes you have . . . what big ears . . . what a big mouth . . . "
" . . . the better to eat you with, my dear."
* * * * *So, here I sit. On the one hand, an ultimate Patriot, formed by the time and place I grew up in. Yet realizing my feelings/experiences/memories are based on a national need – the need to give allegiance to my country and its agenda above all else. That is what every tribe, my "tribe", requires.
As a woman of my time and place, that has been easy to embrace; an easy price for me to pay.
Not so for all the young men, and in more recent times, young women, who first were drafted, and now choose to serve their country, their "tribe".
Movies, slogans, posters, recruiters – propagandize and glorify the cause. Otherwise it could not evoke the patriotism needed to entice the boys and girls to proudly and joyfully sign up. To lay their lives on the line. For their country, their tribe. Yeay!
* * * * *
* * * * *What if . . .
All those presidents and heads of states – of all the countries – sat down in a meeting place somewhere and said – as I believe God would say –
"War is not the answer. Killing is not the answer. And all you kids are gonna sit here til you come up with a better solution. No TV, no bike riding, no treats. Nothing. Sit right here ‘til you come up with a better idea." (My kids, if they read this will say – hmmm, sounds famililar.)
Instead, here I sit. With my patriotism bubbling over. Always. At the same time knowing that is precisely what "the tribe" intends. We have to think we are bigger than, better than, gooder than . . . all the "others." Because the "others" will do their best to take from us everything we have worked so hard to get. Our way of life, our "stuff", and yes, of course, our freedoms.
Our freedoms – to speak or not speak, to believe or not believe, to succeed or not succeed.
So I project what would happen if . . .
If all these presidents and heads of state would sit down . . . one time . . . find that "better idea" and say . . .
"There . . . will . . . be . . . no . . . more . . . wars.
"There will be no . . . more . . . killing . . .
. . . of . . . anyone’s . . . children.
Ever again . . . PERIOD."
* * * * *If it is so wrong to kill a child who has yet to see the light of day, why is it – has it always been – so okay to kill them once they’ve experienced daylight . . . the beauty of sunrise and sunset . . . of playing hopscotch and football . . . of reading Dr. Seuss and Tolstoy . . . of Sock Hops in the gym and walking hand-in-hand with their forever sweetheart . . . or holding a newborn baby in their arms for the first time . . . or . . .
* * * * *Let’s face it. Call it like it is. War makes the world go round.
And that is the greater tragedy in the Remembrance of Memorial Day.