I have had a love affair with history since I was young. I have gone through different stages, where I have read everything I could about various eras. I hate to say it, but I am fascinated by war. To tell you the truth I am really not sure why?
I would say that I am a pacifist, but in the Sergeant York type of way. I believe that war is the worst way we have to solve problems, and should be avoided if at all possible. There is a realist in me though, and she knows that sometimes war is how problems are solved.
So today, in celebration of Memorial Day, I just wanted to look back and think about those who have died fighting for the ideals of our country. Specifically, those who fought in the costliest war in our history.
I think I was surprised at first that the Civil War has more dead, than the toll from all of our other wars combined. My surprise did not last for long though, because it kind of made sense to me. Really, there were only Americans who fought in this war. So while there were two sides, there was only one country.
Our country. Today as I think of those men who took up arms against their own countrymen, it makes me pause and wonder. How far was the road they had to travel, to bring our nation to the point of war? Hate that was allowed to grow, and became something that none of them could control. Hate that was manifested in speech, slavery, pride and greed. Hate that was manifested on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. I think of some of the conversations I hear among people today, and I wonder if they are echoes of the past.
So today. On a day that we remember those who fought and gave their lives, I want to honor their memory. To do that, I believe that my role today is to encourage us all to remember that war is hell. And when we see it and speak of it in any other way than the hushed tones of respect, we do injustice to the memory of those who paid the ultimate price.