John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields serving in the First World War. It is almost 100 years since the start of that war. Wasn’t it said somewhere that it was the war to end all wars? For centuries man continually fights battles, marching off to war for freedom and power. Don’t you just want to say “Stop It.”
What is freedom?
The dictionary defines it as being “free of restraints.” The Free Online Dictionary defines the word freedom as: ” personal liberty, as from slavery, bondage, serfdom, etc. The liberation or deliverance as from confinement or bondage. The quality or state of being free to enjoy political and civil liberties. The state of being without something unpleasant or bad; exemption or immunity. The right or privilege of unrestricted use or access. The power or liberty to order one’s own actions. Able to choose between alternative actions in identical circumstances. The ease or frankness of manner, candour. The excessive familiarity of manner; boldness. The ease and grace, as of movement; lack of effort.” In essence the dictionary states freedom, liberty, and license refer to “the power to act, speak, or think without externally imposed restraints.”
The Berlin Wall was and is a symbol of man imposing restraints. Watching the historical footage of families being separated was heart wrenching. Families waving hankies to loved ones across the barbed wire or desperate families climbing through the barbed wire to get to freedom in grainy black and white film is forever a part of history. I can imagine little children saying “Why” not understanding. What was the answer an adult replied to a child’s question – why?
How many little children around the world must watch their daddy or mommy march off to war or watch the devastation of war unfold before their eyes? Too many is the answer.
I recently purchased a book of poems written by soldiers in the first world war.
Here is an excerpt from a poem by W. N. Hodgson, the poem is titled “Release” ~
Death whining down from heaven,
Death roaring from the ground,
Death stinking in the nostril,
Death shrill in every sound,
Doubting we charged and conquered –
Hopeless we struck and stood;
Now when the fight is ended
We know that it was good.
We that have seen the strongest
Cry like a beaten child,
The sanest eyes unholy,
The cleanest hands defiled,
We that have known the heart-blood
Less than the lees of wine,
We that have seen men broken,
We know that man is divine.
Thank you to my father, uncles, aunt and countless men and women who have seen the horrors of war to gain our freedom.