A column in today’s paper describes a US bomb that can, ‘…wipe out a battalion…’. So clinical, like a surgical strike. Clean, correct, necessary.
Watching TV news in the 60’s with my mother, I was taken back at her horror watching American bombers dropping ordinance on Vietnam. In the ensuing discussion I learned about the pain she witnessed and suffered while in Hamburg, Germany during WWII. As one of hundreds of thousands forced labourers taken from her native Poland to provide the required production muscle, see saw people burned by phosphorus.
Her hatred for the *** was insufficient to provide an understanding as to the purpose of burning people alive. That they were allies and not enemies made no difference.
Her lesson stays with me. War is personal. Who kills you makes no difference. Why they kill you makes no difference. Who dies matters. What side they were on, makes little, if any, difference.
We are on the verge of creating grand parents who will die long after their grand-children. Children will have to substitute patriotism for the presence of a father or mother. Young people will mourn lost friends for the rest of their lives. And many others will regret not dying.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy. Grant that I may not so much seek to be consolded, as to console. To be understood, as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”