|US Special Forces extraction by Company A, 2nd Battalion, 82nd Aviation Regiment, Afghanistan January 2010. (Source)|
I've also added that link to the Blog Roll under the Newbies (New to me anyway...) category. Go and learn when you've got the chance. Worth your time I'd say.
While casting about for something to write about for Saturday's post I was momentarily distracted by reading my e-mail. 'Twas there that I got the communique from Juvat informing me of his find. Checking that place out reinforced the idea I had in mind for Saturday's post.
We tend to forget that the men and women we read about in the history books were real people. Real, everyday, down to earth people for the most part. Folks who grew up much like you and me. They had favorite things. Things they feared. Things they liked, things they didn't like.
They had families, they had friends. They went to school. They did homework and studied for tests. No doubt quite a few semi-freaked out when a pop quiz was thrown at them unexpectedly. I would bet that they, like most of us, settled down and got on with it.
We also tend to forget, well I do at times, that the enemy were and are living, breathing human beings. Perhaps not just like us but close enough. As Shylock might put it, "If you prick us, do we not bleed?"
Of course, the main character in The Merchant of Venice was pointing out the similarities between Christians and Jews. But does that question not apply to people of different cultures and beliefs everywhere? In every period of history?
Yes and no.
Sometimes ideology will drive our species to do stupid things. Sometimes evil things. Sometimes disturbing, irrational things. But underneath it all, we're still all from the same species. So we're alike in construction and design, we need to breathe, we need to eat, we need to drink. We are more alike than we are different.
But when we allow ourselves to get carried away by our greed, our passions, and our hatreds, that's what causes strife. Which can lead to mistrust, hatred, and violence.
I am deeply troubled by the divisions in my country. People are beside themselves with worry, with fear, and even hatred. The news media stirs those emotions, they have become too self-centered, I think, to even understand what it is they are doing.
It saddens me. I even see rifts in my own family.
I really hope that everyone takes a deep breath and considers the important things in life. Especially in this season of Thanksgiving.
Sometimes just shouldering one's burdens and pressing on towards the goal is valorous. It's easy to give up, to weep and wail. Carrying on takes guts.
We all have a bit of hero in us. Just as we all have a little cowardice in us as well. It's what you do day to day and how you interact with those around you which will make a difference.
Be that difference. Be brave, soldier on.
Those who died for us expect nothing less.