Earlier this month, on CBS Sunday Morning, I saw a story about “The Warhorse.” It’s a play detailing the story of a boy and a horse facing the horrors of World War I.
That was the first time living flesh bent under steel boxes that gave no ground. The use of tanks that only was an echo into the future of all the wars to come. The cold brutality of absolute unyielding force.
All around the world, there are monuments to war. Magnificent in splendor, huge in the heart they display. Some simple and stark in their black and white homage to those who died. All asking us to remember. Remember the hardships, remember the sacrifice, remember the pain and destruction of war. Remember the potential in each of those persons lost.
The monuments ask us to remember… but when will we learn.
I heard someone say, “Don’t give up the fight. Do not let your son’s sacrifice be in vain.” I say, let’s stop the needless suffering of war, so those who have given their lives will not have done so in vain. Do not let their memory die.
Do not think that war is ever about the honor of those who serve. It’s almost always about arrogance. The arrogance that one person, party or group, knows better and wants control of the lives of another group.
Honor their service by learning the true lesson of war. While it may appear that one group or another is in the position of winning, there are no lasting gains for humanity to be made through war. Ultimately, war hurts everyone and everything.
I dream that in my lifetime, there will be no more monuments to war. Honor those who have died in service by learning to live in peace.
The truth of war is witnessed in the long lists of names. Ten million men lost in WWI and nearly the same number of horses. Those men are remembered and mourned by monuments. In London, there’s even a monument to honor all the animals including the horses, that served. Part of the inscription on that monument reflects that, “They had no choice.”
That monument asks us to remember… we have a choice.