The dead are always with us. Those of us who knew and loved them long for them and mourn their passing. As long as we remember them they are somehow still with us… those real people, who laughed and snarked and tried and failed and loved us back. Life continues.
But there are those dead whom we must remember whom we never knew. There are those who died of poverty and neglect. To them, we can only say, we will try to do better.
There are those who died in wars. Some died valiantly, defending a cause they believed in. Some died valiantly because we asked it of them. All have served valiantly and we are not grateful enough — even when we are uncertain about war and its purpose.
Too many have died in wars. Too many veterans have had to leave their families for uncertain causes. Too many are gravely wounded in too many ways. Too few are well taken care of when they return.
And too many of us ignore the wars of the world and the victims who are not military.
Veterans day is over for the year… Remembrance must continue… and with that a heartfelt movement to bring Peace about in the world. It’s on us. We owe the dead that. We owe the living the same. Peace. The work of the world.
It’s been a fascinating glimpse into people’s lives as they post their pics of themselves and their family members as vets. My generation are the children of WWII vets. In all their pictures, I recognize memories. And oh the soldiers were so young, so young. They all are.
But those soldiers came home to a life and possibilities. We felt responsible to and for them. No, we didn’t talk about PTSD… and it was ghastly.
But now our soldiers are disgorged into emptiness. There are no jobs. If they can get medical care it’s hit-or-miss. There aren’t anywhere near enough support services for soldiers who have seen more than a heart and soul can safely bare. We ask so much. We give so little.
Disproportionately homeless, un- or under-employed, divorced, incarcerated… discarded.
Even those of us who struggle against war recognize it — and yet we don’t organize. We think, one thing at a time, but it’s not, it’s all of those things together.
We cannot continue to ask these young men and women to do difficult and often horrible jobs and then not tenderly care for them when they get home, not give them the tools and the opportunity for reentry.
We must care for those who fight even as we work to put an end to war.
Peace be with us all. May we be part of what helps Peace to be with us all.