Photo taken from a blog post on “The Marlboro Marine” on Panacea911.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed…This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Today is the day in America where we remember those fallen in wars past. Today, a lot of people are going to get together, have a barbecue, maybe watch a parade, then drive home and go back to work the next day. It’s funny to me how a day for reflection on our loss of young men to war inspires us to have a cookout (not that I didn’t participate in said cookout this weekend; don’t really need much of an excuse to eat burgers off the grill).
Anyway, something good to mention here is a big misconception about us pacifists. Many people think that because we choose to oppose war, we also oppose the men fighting it. Frankly, this isn’t true, but given the way soldiers returning from Vietnam were treated, I understand why people might be led to think that way. When soldiers from WWII returned home, they were received as heroes, but soldiers from Korea and Vietnam were either ignored or received open hostility. Many Americans didn’t agree with/support either war, and by extension in their minds, didn’t agree with the soldiers who fought it. Today, soldiers are more well respected and do not receive as much hostile treatment as they once did. That being said, I want to say that I do support the troops and pray for their safe return home. This does not mean I support the war on terror, however. The loss of life through any war is not something I can lend my support to no matter what the cause. That being said, Memorial Day, for me, has become a time to pray for the end of war and the end of the deaths of so many young men. Christians around the world need to support the troops by prayer for war’s end and by letting them know that Jesus loves them as much as He loves the people they’re fighting.
One of the things that has really angered me in recent years is the lack of medical/psychological attention they receive when they return from war, even after the flashbacks that many Vietnam and Korea vets experienced for years after what they’d been through. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a very real issue that many soldiers face on their return from war, even driving many to suicide, yet our government ignores this issue (the military blog A Soldier’s Perspective speaks up here. The Daily Beast offers a rather blunt commentary as well). It’s as if they think it strange people who become affected by explosions and killing other human beings (in fact, they do. Many soldiers who opt for noncombatant status are ridiculed, and some are diagnosed with what is called “maladjustment disorder”). War only serves to dehumanize, and yet when soldiers come back feeling less human, we don’t take the time and the expenses to bring them back, nor do we aim to keep the very cause of the problem at bay. If we truly supported our troops, we’d do all we could to save them from PTSD.
This Memorial Day, pray for the soldiers on both sides of the fight. Pray for an end to this war, and pray for everlasting peace. It’s not such a foolish thing to ask for, and it keeps soliders safe.
Normal posts resume tomorrow. This one’s for the fallen. You’re not forgotten, and we pray for your living friends to come home.
(Note: New blog title simply says “Love your enemies!”