Rememberance Day - Lest We Forget

i'm a pacifist but that in no way effects my admiration for all the brave men and women who have given their physical health, their mental health and their lives in service of the ideals they believe in. In some ways pacifists understand quite well how hard it can be to stand up for what you believe in.

My parents both served in the Pacific during WWII. My mom was a nurse in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, a MASH unit. My dad was with the US Army Corps of Engineers. They met at the hospital where she was stationed and he was recovering from massive multiple wounds. They were there in the same hospital in Busan Korea for the last year of the war. i guess he fell in love with his nurse.

Neither of them were ever the same after the war their families told me years later when i was old enough to understand. My dad was the worst, he suffered every minute of his remaining life from what's now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]. Back then they called it being shell shocked if anything. He drank himself into unconsciousness almost everyday for the rest of his life, only missing those few days he was to broke to buy a bottle. My mom and him split up when i was under 2, she carried the ball by herself all her life in large part because my dad was so screwed up he couldn't function, was sometimes violent, abusive to her and, of course, always drunk.

i grew up always missing what i didn't know, always wondering, always hoping he'd show up. He never did, many many years later i forgave him. But it had a huge effect on me, undoubtedly it still does somewhere deep inside where it hides. Do i remember on Remembrance Day? Of course i do, how could i ever forget. With any luck my daughters will have escaped the multi-generational disaster that WWII brought to my family and millions of others. War is hell. The brave young men and women who volunteer to stand at the gates of that hell deserve our solemn praise. Maybe that's why i'm a pacifist, because i can't forget.