The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Politicians: Interview Aging Veterans Before Declaring War

I was moved by a Memorial Day special on one of the major news networks. An aging reporter was interviewing an aging veteran. Both had been soldiers in World War II.

Every politician should watch interviews like this, or better yet interview aging veterans personally, prior to beating the drums for or actually declaring war. The interview I saw was conducted with sympathy, kindness, and a gentle touch. Repeatedly, the reporter said to the man being interviewed, it's all right, I was there too, I understand.

I want those politicians to look into that man's haunted eyes. When asked about the war, suddently his eyes got round and distant. You could tell he was seeing another time and place, a battlefield where fear, pain, loss, death, and dismemberment were everywhere to be witnessed and endured. Try as he might, he could not speak much of what he had seen. At one point he chocked out something like, "You were trying to string wire and you would trip over something and then you'd look down and see what that ... something ... was." It was terrible to listen to and watch. He also said, "You've heard of pools of blood ..." and then he trailed away, unable to continue about the horrors of that war so long ago and that D Day landing.

I want all those politicians to watch how much horror this man lives with so many decades after that war ... that just and righteous war ... that good war as we so often call it ... has ended. Has it really ended for the vets who served there so honorably? This interview suggests perhaps not.

Think about that on this Memorial Day, leaders of our nation and all nations. Let it give you all pause before declaring the next war, the next police action, the next preemptive strike. Perhaps we won't have to ensnare our young men and women in quite so many conflicts in the future. We can hope. That would be a wonderful way to honor the memories of all who have so valiantly served.Mem

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