This day finds me filled with sorrow for all those men and women whose lives are forever changed by the horrors of war. The men and women who we train to carryout war. The men and women who give their lives in that pursuit and those left to live their lives struggling with the wounds; physical, mental, psychological. It doesn't matter if I agree with the cause of the war. It doesn't matter that I believe that war is wrong. Today, what matters is that these untold thousands made incredible sacrifices doing what they believed was the right thing to do. Tears run down my face as I lift their unknown names in prayer.
I am filled with sorrow for the devastation that war wreaks, not only on those fighting that war, but on the people; the innocent bystanders. Could it be that we are all innocent bystanders? That in some small way we all bear the scars of war? We are, after all, connected by our very DNA. How can one feel that kind of pain without it affecting another?
I will never forget one day, when my youngest daughter was serving this country as a Marine in Iraq. I Had gone out to do some shopping. As I returned home, I prepared to turn on to my street. I could see my home, my driveway, and in my driveway was parked a late model navy blue sedan. I felt panic rise in me. The thoughts that stormed through my mind went from terror to wanting to flee so they couldn't tell me because somehow if I didn't know it wouldn't be true, to the knowledge that if it were true it was inescapable - surrender. You see, I knew that car was exactly the type of car that would arrive at my home with two officers inside to tell me that my daughter was no more. I continued to my home and found, to my great relief that the car belonged to police officers checking on a domestic dispute. I was so grateful! Nonetheless, I carry that pain, deep within me, of what could have been - what almost was. The knowledge that thousands of other mothers are not so lucky. I know I will never forget the pain and fear that I felt. It drives me ever harder to help find ways in which we can all live in peace.
As an individual I believe that we, the human race, have at our disposal the means to seek peace rather than promulgating the terrors of war. I pray that we can accept that as a true possibility for once we do we will find the way.
The fact that I actively seek peace is not meant in any way to dishonor those who feel sure in their hearts that they are called to serve. I honor their belief and the sacrifices that their beliefs force them to make. I know that for them it is a mark of their love for country above all else. I hope that they will come to understand and honor the beliefs that I hold - that peace is possible. Turning the tide - finding our way to peace, will require sacrifice, and some may die in its pursuit. A world at peace will require immense courage and strength of will and character. Qualities that already exist. Can we choose another way: if not for ourselves for our children and our children's children?