Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ne Obliviscaris

I have mixed feelings about veteran's day, in part, because I am the wife of a disabled naval veteran, but it brings up feelings this time of year that are different than before. I am a peace lover, but I appreciate what sacrifice people have been willing to offer for other people they don't even know. These men and women are those who see their neighbor as a part of their American family and that they are willing to represent us all on the front lines when needed, and even die. My husband has given his 'american lifestyle' for a cause that he was compelled to enter, on behalf of freedom, family and country. He is also a peace lover, but has a certain sense of duty that growing up in the Navy can bring. He will never be the same as he was before, but neither will we and I am okay with that. When he went overseas, he left behind a wife and daughter, who just turned 1. He wasn't even 'supposed' to go, for reasons that are too complicated to get into right now, but he still ended up there. The intertwined reasons, though we may never learn all of them, they are all valid, not matter how small. It is not easy for the deployed to say goodbye, possibly for good, to their loved ones and go off to a place where the only reality is life and death.

On the flip side, I would like to mention the families that stay at home, awaiting, hoping and praying for the return of our men and women who have been called to go. It is one of THE most important things for a family in the service to be tight knit, because that is what will keep them going when they are apart, but then they must part and it is doubly difficult BECAUSE they are close. An occasional email or phone call, which is more than many have had in the past, is just shattered pieces of a life that you are waiting to glue back together. It can be a ghost of existence and marriage until everyone is back together and you get to learn how to be a family again. The home people have had to operate without the input, interaction and presence of the away party for quite some time and the returning person has been in a system where everything is laid out and the only guarantee in any given day is knowing that life is precious and if you don't do your job, people may die, but they may die anyway and you might be one of them.

War is not pretty, and not everyone agrees on whether we ought to be involved in anything that is not on our soil or our direct fight, but at least some of us feel like there is something worth fighting to preserve, not matter how messed up, disagreeable and shoddy. Our country was built on war, it is in the blood of our people. Peace begins in the home, so instead of being fussy that people in the world are fighting, let us teach peace and love. Instead of blaming others for our own inability to practice what we preach, let us stop for a bit of introspection to examine the realities of our own state and purposes. People die in war, but we will all die some day and this body will cease to carry our souls any longer, so let us not demonize war and fighting for our inevitable end, it will come one day to us all. Let us not turn our backs on those who care enough to defend our principles and honor, even if it means being wrong, losing family, or dying, but rather, let us honor them everyday by practicing peace within our own lives and communities, so that they may not have to go. Let us encourage love in all that we do, in the hopes that, at the very least, the war is not in our families and amoungst friends.

“God is not a God of war and fighting. Make war and fighting to cease, both that which is
against him, and that which is against your neighbor. Be at peace with all people, consider
with what character God saves you.” — St. John Chrysostom