I think of the military in a new way these days. A suppose for the last 15 years or so since having military members in our family. I am Canadian so it is not as common to have people in the military as some other places. Having family sent overseas is VERY different from watching the news and seeing nameless throngs of men and women heading towards a plane in their uniforms.
I am now good friends with several men and women who served and now deal with PTSD. I’ve heard their stories and those stories are also VERY different from what we see on TV. It just isn’t all that clean or clear cut. They have to make impossible decisions using rules from law abiding societies against groups of people that have no rules at all. They see the faces of totally innocent men, women and children that are thrust in to the middle of wars they did not start and quite often do not want.
I think of them all almost every day but I think of them even more today.
Over the past few years I have also used this day to remind myself of the people who fight for our rights in other ways. The people that fight through non violence. Gandhi is the first example I think of. Martin Luther King. Nelson Mandela (I know the other side to his story but still feel in the end, he did a LOT for society and being perfect is not a qualification for me). Today I think most of the Dalai Lama. A refugee from his own country who has watched barbaric things done to his people yet still feels the only way to “retaliate” is with kindness and compassion.
I watched a movie about the Dalai Lama this morning and he was asked about why he would never fight back and guns were used as an example. He said that guns are a short term answer. They can stop something for a short time but in the end, very little changes.
He feels that kindness and compassion breeds peace and that can be spread around everywhere for free. By not allowing ourselves to be so quick to anger, we stop negativity in its tracks. It is not the easy way but it is the only way to make changes that last. (My opinion.)
So today I think of every person who is trying to fight for a better life no matter how they feel is the right way to accomplish that goal.
Last but not least… our furry, feathered, hair covered war heroes. We use dogs and other animals to help people heal and lead full lives after coming home from war but they have also fought for us as well. Many dear animals have lost their lives in service to us. I don’t forget them on this day either.
I wish for you to be happy.
I wish for you to have peace.
I wish for all those who have fallen in the name of freedom to be resting free from any worry or hurt.