Monday, May 29, 2006

A Tough Memorial Day

Like many American families, Memorial Day brings somber reflections for me. Our family has had a long background of military action. During WWII a close relative was killed by a Kamikazi pilot crashing his Zero aircraft into the gun turret on the American ship he was manning and killed this 18 year old sailor. Another relative was hospitalized when an Army Airforce ground accident caused the ground crew to be chopped up by a aircraft propellor blade. My father served in cold Korea in 1950 during that terrible war as a cook at a POW camp. His brother served as a Marine. Another served as a sailor on a nuclear sub and was badly burned in an electrical accident in the torpedo room about the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I had my draft card from Vietnam, but was not called up as more new recruits were stopped after 1972.

Members of the military serve their nation, no matter where called and without question. This does not mean that all wars are right or just. But it is a sign of loyalty to the nation that many risk their lives to do as told without question.

With two current wars, this Memorial Day was very tough for many families. 2,466 dead and more than 18,000 wounded from just Iraq alone. And Afghanistan is beginning to worsen again as well as witnessed by today's events that spun out of control as well.

Today journalists paid a very high price to present the news with a car bombing taking it's toll on a CBS news crew. What was to be a routine news story turned out to be anything but that, leaving two of the CBS crew injured, and a popular female reporter very badly injured. If she survives her serious wounds, then her life is forever changed by today's split second events. Well pray for her complete recovery and the recovery of the six wounded American servicemen as well.

All families who made a tough sacrifice for the good of the U.S. deserve our prayers today. War is unfortunately not the best or most moral way for humans to resolve conflicts, but it is the way humans seem to often choose. And many are forced to live with the consequences of this choice. Servicepersons put their life on the line for the choices of politicians. But unless good would confront evil in conflicts, then evil would create even more human suffering if good men acting as soldiers did not move to protect innocent lives. Other times the line between good and bad are more blurred.

Regardless of whether the current two wars are just or not, should not be at issue here. Our servicepersons do deserve both prayers for their safety and respect. And evil elements in Iraq or Afghanistan would certainly victimize even more innocent lives with mosque attacks or sectarian violence if the U.S. did not continue some sort of police role in both countries. A good policeman never walks away from a situation simply because crime exists, but they try to prevent more violence or crime. All good prayers should be that peace and calm are soon restored to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and that domestic forces in both countries can soon learn from the American and international examples of peacekeeping skills. There is no excuse for violence, and all people deserve to live in peace. The policeman and the soldier are sometimes necessary to this end when humans cannot control their own conduct. God bless them.


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