The Silence

I had a great blog started about the wonderful writer conference I attended on Saturday. But this is the day when we honor those who served to keep us safe, going back generations. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we stop for a moment of silence. Why that particular time? Because this became known as “Armistice Day,” the end of the War to End All Wars. Except it didn’t. Instead it presaged a deluge of wars beyond imagination. I thought to discuss WWI more thoroughly but found this from the the Naval Institute which says it so much more eloquently.

The loss of life was staggering, whole families wiped out. The same happened when Napoleon decided he needed to conquer the world, and for that matter when Alexander wanted to prove how Great he was, or Attila got bored, or when Genghis Khan felt just too crowded in Mongolia. Closer to him, when the South and North had their disagreement. Our history overflows with people who are convinced it is their birthright to be in charge of the world. Okay, a lot of us do start out that way but at some point we do manage to grow up.

Science Fiction abounds with stories of man’s expansion into space, or interactions with alien races even more aggressive than humans. Which is a chilling thought. For some people war is no closer than the movies, or the newspapers, or some news reports. For others war is horrifically close. They either served or had someone close serving who might or might not have come home. For myself, my father was career military but for the most part I stayed separate until we lived in Japan in the late 60s. Japan was used as a military hospital stop and visiting was part of our lives. Even more direct was the skating rink in Yokosuka. I’d take the bus down to skate with sailors a couple times a week. Innocent fun. Until the day a large group of them didn’t come back to the rink since they’d  been sleeping in that section of the ship that was shelled.  And I grew up.

I keep the silence for them, and for every mother’s son lost in the greed and tragedy of war.

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