Today I came across my daddy’s memorabilia such as the coffee cup he drank from each day, his daily glasses and his good new ones. There was his old billed hat and pictures of his World War II days in the Pacific.
Looking at these pictures chronicling his days in the war made me remember the toll it had taken on this very strong man. He didn’t speak much of those days but he had plenty of pictures and all his metals that he occasionally removed carefully from the picture box and showed to his three little, not old enough to appreciate, kids. Looking back now I can understand that he was trying to let us know his history, what really made him tick.
This made me think about war and its impact on society. Much like the Olympics people cheer for their country and think that we ought to win even praying to God, whatever his or her name, for that coveted gold metal. War is much the same. Both sides pray to be the victor and someone always has to feel like a loser but really both sides lose. No one in war can be a victor not when you’ve seen the consequences of those who’ve fought and how it changes their lives.
My father was always a fair man but he was also a hard man when he made up his mind to something. The war made him more angry and created hatred for other humanity. A man who sent as much money as he could spare and then some to poor children charities overseas had another side that was much harder that he tried to come to terms with since his stint in the armed forces. Since we’re sympathetic and patriotic to our own countries woes we forget that perhaps the other people involved in the friction are having the same feelings about us.
It’s like the old joke that only one church will go to heaven. While being introduced to heaven by Saint Peter, the person there heard a huge commotion over the hill and asked who that could be. Saint Peter responded, “Oh, that’s the INSERT NAME HERE church. They think they’re the only ones up here.”
Like that joke whoever’s fighting or playing the sport think they’re the rightful winner. But really who is? I remember horror on my father’s face many years after the war when a huge thunder storm rattled to life and he was back looking for a foxhole and commanding his men.