Does Anyone Believe In War?

Field by Brandenberg, Germany. Image by Peter Dargatz — Pixabay

Today’s Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day — Veteran’s Day in the USA. This is the day we remember the ones who paid the price for freedom, to respect the sacrifice they’ve made in the cause of peace and liberty. So we have all heard it for so many years and I think most of us would nod in agreement: we see Remembrance Day this way.

Someone commented recently that to her understanding, wearing a poppy indicates that the wearer believes in, or supports, war. For me. it’s more like an anti-war symbol. “Please, world leaders, remember the terrible cost of war and rather find peaceful solutions to international conflicts.”

What does the Remembrance Day poppy mean to you?

This morning I started wondering, Is there any sane person who actually believes that war is a good thing?

I was a teen in the ’60s — and for us here in North America the news was full of the Nam war. President Kennedy committing the US to involvement in Vietnam, Johnson escalating the war effort, the hawks, the doves, peace marches, draft card burning, etc. And for those of us here in Canada, hearing about draft dodgers slipping in, seeking refuge. The justification may have been: “We need to stop the spread of communism.” However, no one on this side was happy about US troops dying in Nam.

My parents and their peers lived through the 1930s and watched anxiously as Hitler shook hands with Mussolini and divided up Europe. German troops invaded Austria and the Rhine Valley. I remember the Beatles in the 60s singing “Give Peace a Chance.” Neville Chamberlain gave peace a chance, waving his non-aggression treaty as he descended the plane in England after his successful trip to Germany. “It’s here in black and white, folks. The Fuhrer has agreed to stop invading now.” When Poland, the Benelux countries, and finally France fell under Nazi control, that generation knew that only a war would stop Hitler. No one wanted it, though.

Fact is, almost everyone is willing to give peace a chance. A dozen chances, if it meas avoiding war, destruction. bloodshed, more “Flanders fields where poppies blow between the crosses row on row….” These things we’re supposed to remember and grieve today.

I suspect most religious fanatics would rather have people convert to their cause than start a war. Insane people also would probably avoid outright war if possible. I’m sure Hitler would have been delighted if countries had just handed their governments over to him without the loss of German lives. However, he had the expectation that there’d be armed resistance and he was prepared to take by force whatever wasn’t handed over peaceably.

For a wannabe world ruler like Napoleon or Hitler, or an ideologist like Lenin bent on overthrowing the powers that be, violence and outright war are a necessary evil to getting what they want. “If other people weren’t so stupid and stubborn, they’d just give in and let me/us rule them, rob them blind, and/or exterminate them without all this fuss.” Crispina Kemp on her blog recent wrote about William the Norman Prince of Orange invading England. Same deal.

In my parents’ generation few people in Britain or on this side of the ocean wanted war, but they saw it as the only solution to stopping an insane man from ruling the world. I believe that whether they were right in the actions they took or whether they weren’t is for God alone to judge. And I’m not up enough in History to know why Europe and England felt they needed to get involved when The Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo. I have read about the bloody trench warfare and mass destruction of World War I.

Today I’d like to say with the rest of the world, “Please God, never again!” But I suspect humanity may produce a few more wannabe dictators and fanatics. While I don’t “believe in” or support the idea of war, I realize that in the kingdoms of this old world, it’s sometimes unavoidable.

Bravery

Good morning everyone. A bright Monday morning, the beginning of another week and also Remembrance Day here in Canada.

Folks who are planning outdoor celebrations this morning will have to be brave to face the chill that’s settled across the prairies. We had a fair bit of snow Saturday, and now it’s seriously cold. At 7 am it was -22̊ C. Add wind gusts up to 28 km/h for a wind-chill factor of -31̊ C.
For our American friends that’s -7̊ F and with wind gusts up to 17 mph, which gives the feel of -24̊ F if you’re outside for very long. I let our cats outside first thing and they were ready to come in about three minutes later.

So it’s the perfect day to stay indoors and work on my sewing projects, but I will be cooking at the Villa today, both meals. Thankfully I can slide my car into the heated garage there. Dear hubby will have to get up and help me open the door of our unheated garage because at this temperature, the mechanism doesn’t want to work.

Like most people who are classed as “brave”, I’m not particularly courageous or eager to face the elements, but I have a job to do and will do it regardless of the externals. I don’t think any soldiers were enthused about facing enemy guns, but they were given the job, the goal was held forth, and they gritted their teeth and complied, hoping to make it out alive.

Ragtag Community’s word prompt for today is BRAVERY, quite understandable considering this special day. At the 11th hour dedicated folks all over the world will pause for a few moments of silence, remembering those lost in war and wishing, praying, violent conflicts will cease forever.

I hopped over to Pixabay and checked out images of ‘Bravery’; it’s very interesting what they all show. From a dandelion daring to bloom in parched clay to bungee jumping to Rosie the Riveter to Super heroes. Here are a few illustrations of bravery:

Fire.skeeze
Skeeze.Pixabay

Soliers.johnrocks888
johnrocks888.Pixabay

Rocket.WikiImages
WikiImages.Pixabay

surgery-1807541_640
Sasin Tipchai.Pixabay

But some things that people think are brave, like death-defying stunts, I’d class in the realm of… well…a lack of good sense. All in one’s perspective of bravery, I suppose? Like, why on earth would you play with a snake or fling yourself off a cliff if you don’t have to? Different strokes for different folks?

Matador.memyselfaneye
memyselfaneye.Pixabay

bungee-jumping-3164249_640
wfff.Pixabay

Anyway, wherever you are today, I hope you can have a day of relative peace and safety. Let’s all take time to appreciate all the folks who have sacrificed—and are working today—to give us security and a better quality of life.

 

Uncle Bob’s Medals

His family all knew he had some medals. He’d showed a few to the grandchildren at times, even let them take a medal or two for their classroom “Show & Tell.”

After Uncle Bob passed away his children started sorting through their dad’s things and came across his old army kit bag up in the attic and found about ten medals. Curious as to what these represented, they wrote to the Dept of Veterans’ Affairs asking for information.

One of the medals, the letter said, was awarded to all soldiers who fought in World War II, and another was for those who saw battlefield action; several others were more common, too. But several of them were among the highest honors awarded by Britain, France, and Canada for courage in battle.

All those years and they never knew their dad was a hero! Why hadn’t they probed a bit more? Like most soldiers who fought overseas, Uncle Bob never talked about the War when he got back, so his family knew nothing of the battles he fought, the bravery he showed, his part in victories gained. That part of the family legacy is buried with their Dad.

I’m glad for the ones who did talk about being “overseas.” Our understanding is richer today for those soldiers and civilians who didn’t just forget it all, the people who shared their war experiences and gave us some idea of what they went through.It changed them in ways we who’ve only known years of peace can never understand.

We owe a debt to everyone who fought to make our country the free land it is today. Let’s appreciate what we have.

poppies
LEST WE FORGET