I was thinking today about my Dad, and his service in the Military. Maybe because of all the talk around Veterans Day. At any rate, my Dad served during World War II. He was deployed to the European Front, where he engage in combat. He was part of an Artillery Squad which operated a Anti-Aircraft Gun. The thing looked pretty powerful in some of the photos.
I wonder how my Dad was during his service there. As long as I knew him, he was one of the most peaceful people I’ve ever met. Honestly, he would try to “keep the peace” at any cost.
But besides that, my Dad was a slow mover. Astrologically, a Cancer. That spells slow. It would take the man 30 minutes to wash his hands and comb his hair, before we went out anywhere. He wasn’t primping. He simply made molasses look like greased lightning. It drove my Mom a little crazy. One of the most commonly heard household phrases of my youth? “Hurry up Paul.”
But back to 1945. Dad didn’t speak much to us about his time at war. I don’t think he liked to talk about it much. At all.
Then. All of a sudden, my thoughts jumped ahead 20 years… to 1969. The time when the draft lottery was being read on the television for Viet Nam. We stood around the TV at our home in Dayton, on East Bruce Ave, and watched. My oldest brother was old enough to serve. I was five, but I distinctly remember the graveness, and somberness, of the moments in front of that TV. There was not a sound in the room… …… which was filled with a bunch of unruly ruffian children of the Kronenberger variety. We stood like statues.
As I sat and remembered all of these things, one right after the other… a news story came on the television, here in my own little home.
There was a five-year-old boy who was critically injured in a drive-by shooting, just the other day. He was playing at his home. And now we have a another kind of war.
The little boy died just yesterday. The shooting occurred on East Bruce Avenue, in Dayton, Ohio. I used to play in that same yard, where the little boy was shot.
All of these past occurrences seemed to come full circle in my mind, in just a few fleeting moments.
It makes me wonder, so deeply, about so many things. The concept of time. How… all of this can occur again, so vividly, in one’s thoughts, at any given moment.
And then historically, to the actual events. Those wars. We are fighting so many these days. We always have. Us humans. It amazes me how willing we are to throw down lives, for the sake of winning an argument, or proving a point of view.
Sometimes, wars happen because a great injustice is occurring somewhere, and we need to stand up for those who can’t. Sometimes the causes seem noble, while other times, they seem completely absurd.
My thoughts are all over the place tonight, because… all of this seems much too big to contemplate… let alone… resolve.
I can only say I do not have any answers. Yet. In my Pollyanna Mind… I wish we could all do like John Lennon suggested.
Give Peace A Chance.
“You have peace,” the old woman said, “when you make it with yourself.”
― Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven