Purple Hearts!Submitted by The Pen on Tue, 06/25/2013 - 12:38
This morning on the way to work I saw a purple heart adorned upon the license plate of the vehicle in front of me. It really made me sad that such a display may bring a sense of Patriotism to many who see it. I wonder the circumstances by which the person in front of me received such an “honor”? I wonder if the “honor” was given when this person was involved in an unconstitutional war. Did this “honor” make up for the time lost away from their family, children and spouse? Does this “honor” serve now to remedy the hours, days and months they cannot get back in order that they may have chosen a different path had they known the consequences of their involvement? Did this “honor” involve killing others in order to rescue one of their own? Did this “honor” find them complicit in the deaths of innocent civilians?
Does this purple heart adorning their license plate suffice to rectify all they may have given up in order to claim it? Does this purple heart bring pride and joy, or does it bring sorrow and regret? Is it sufficient for the actions that person may have taken when they found themselves under duress and fear of their own death? What does it mean in the greater scheme of things? Are they ashamed to show their children? Are they ashamed to explain how it is they came to bear it? Does this person speak proudly and loudly in order to exonerate and justify their actions in obtaining it?
I think of all the fathers and mothers who abstain from enlistment and deployment and wonder where their purple hearts are? The countless hours of reading to their children, changing their diapers, feeding them and nurturing them stand for so much more than those who have remained absent can ever know. At what point does a person decide between one life to live and one life to give. At what point does a person decide between being present versus being absent? At what point does a person decide to give up the hugs, kisses, laughter, spontaneity, progress and brilliance of the children they bore in order to “defend” our country in foreign lands? What are we teaching our children when we hold medals higher than the love and guidance they seek? What are we teaching our children when we attribute casualty, loss of limb, loss of mind and loss of wit to honorability?
It gives me pause to think what the next generation of men will come to know of mine. For my entire life our nation has been intervening and embroiled in war – for 35 years! We are indeed raising a generation of men to carry on that mentality if we neglect to tell them they not only have a choice to end the wages of wars bid by rich men, but that they also have the choice to lay down the legacy of arms in order to hold the hands freed of them.
Peace and Love to all.