I’m conflicted! Confused, and very anxious!
How do I show my deep respect for the efforts of our soldiers while still expressing my strong disapproval of wars and all they bring with them?
Recently my sister Pat was here from Ireland and we had to explain to a visiting ex-Brit how in Ireland in the 60s you had to choose which side to support or die. We had two choices: IRA or non-IRA. In case you think I automatically chose IRA, think again. Even then I could see that 500 years of war with England had not produced much in the way of sanity for Ireland. Sure, we had our semi-independence (the North was, and still is, part of the UK) and we held our heads high, but the reality is that until we (Ireland that is) joined the EU, nothing much had changed.
The choices in a relatively cool war zone like Ireland were still stark, and no doubt are just as stark in any modern heated war zone. Join one side or the other or remain forever suspect by both sides. No use dying alone. If neither side trusts you, you will still be just as dead, only sooner, as there is no one to defend you.
I know in my heart that fighting is inevitable. But fighting… is still such an awful option. For the awfulness of it, I respect the soldiers. For the courage of it, I respect the soldiers. For the right to freedom defended everywhere in the free world, I respect the soldiers. So I will mourn as others do on Anzac Day and I will thank the good God that my sons are now almost too old to be called to war. Pity those mothers who are fearful for boys (for they are still only boys) fighting on foreign fields, some never to come back, some to return with unmentionable wounds.
Whatever your views on war, give thanks for the courage of men (and women) who have the guts to stand for what we all believe in.
So remember, there are horrors we home-bodies may never be called to witness or take part in. But we must respect those who have to intervene, and those who may have to in the future. Our lives are held in a fragile net of democracy and freedom. We hope the net is never tested, but we also hope there will be trained personnel to defend us if it ever is tested.
Blessings, especially to our defence forces overseas. Come home, lads.