Then vs. Now

I wandered over to newscoma’s site this morning, and her post reminded me that my father enlisted in the Army and fought the Japanese during WWII. He wasn’t even a citizen. My mother, another non-citizen, worked in factories producing spare parts for various types of vehicles used in the war. When I was young, I placed little value on the stories they told of this time in their lives. They rarely spoke of the hardships, rather, they spoke almost fondly of a time when virtually every American participated in some way in the war effort. People rationed supplies, and didn’t complain. The odds were that you knew someone on your street that had lost a son, or husband, or brother, and there was a shared experience of loss, but also a shared experience of purpose. How different the American war experience is today. The men and women who volunteer to serve and fight love this country as much as their grandparents did, and this war will produce it’s share of heros. But the uncomfortable truth is that the rest of us may be different. It should be said that I do not believe that our young should be in Iraq, but the fact is that they are indeed there, and I have to wonder how many of us would gladly absorb a tax increase or ration gas if it meant our troops had all that they needed. Anyway, I too will join in Newscoma’s call to President Bush to bring our soldiers home, so that we can begin the shared experience of healing.

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