Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

We were driving home yesterday, wrapping up a wonderful weekend at the happy place.  We were reminiscing  about years gone by including the death of one of Paul's shipmates, Dan Shanower.  We toast him every year on Memorial Day.

Then a car drove by us.  Its license plate was NO WAR.

We both sat there for a moment, the timing not lost on us.

I had a lot of thoughts about that car and that license plate.

After spending 22 years as a military spouse, I can't imagine anyone who does want war.  No one my spouse worked with ever wanted war.  We would love for all our tax dollars to go to education, food, clean water, safe communities, decent roads, housing, jobs, and pencils.  Even pencils.

We wouldn't be a United States without a war.
We let the United States prevent her own citizens from voting?  That was a war.  Sorry sister, we needed that one.
Do we stand by and let Hitler eradicate an entire population?  That was the deadliest war by death toll.  Could you sleep at night not confronting him?

I couldn't.

We don't want war.  Dan Shanower's family didn't want war.  All of the families of the fallen veterans didn't want war.  But here's the deal.  Everyone else has to want peace too.

That no one takes to genocide, infanticide, and misogyny.

That no one looks at me as says, "sorry, as a women, you don't get to vote, drive, or participate in the goodness and greatness of life."  Um no.  That's a deal breaker for me.

There are times when I believe that we are anything but civilized in our society.  That with the military-industrial complex, we perpetuate conflict resolution by beating each other up.  It's too bad.

But there are truths for me that are so fundamental to who I am that if challenged, and the only way to resolve it is through a fight, then I am willing.   If we try every possible way through mediation, diplomacy, and conversation, but no one will budge, I am willing.  If the only way to save an entire populations is through war, then I am willing.

I am here because of a war.  I can vote because of a war.  I am free because of those people who have gone before me and paid that price with their lives.  Because of people like Dan Shanower.

I want NO WAR too.
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