Yesterday was Memorial Day. They showed one of the veterans of the war to end all wars, World War 1. He was 103 and one of 30 survivors left of that war. Millions of people died in that war – the war to end all wars – and now the survivors are almost gone.
You wonder why mankind feels the need to war with each other. Eventually, the enemies become allies and trading partners and the whole point of war becomes forgotten. During my lifetime I have seen our great enemies Japan and Germany and Vietnam become allies and friends and I have seen our former allies Russia and China become enemies and then finally friends again. Just why did all those boys die and get maimed during all those wars? Wasn’t it eventually a great waste? Why couldn’t diplomacy solve the problems without the need to spend all the lives and waste all the materials and destroy all the land? Our hindsight shows us that great enemies can become great friends. Why can’t we use that hindsight to help us solve the problems and avoid the wars?
I have this deep forlorn suspicion that we have this great war machine we have created and it is feeding on us to keep itself alive. There are profits to be made and instruments of war to be sold and we find ourselves wasting more time and effort supporting this war machine than we do on education or health for our people. The deserts fill up with the leftover and antiquated instruments of war so that we can build newer and better killing machines. Why are we so blind to the lessons we have learned from all the wars? What did we really gain from all that effort and all those lives? It seems that our memories are too short on memorial day.