Birthdays and Memorials

Buddha in the Garden Today I am sharing my birthday with a remembrance of U. S. soldiers who have served my country through the years.

I was born at the beginning of World War II and I have no memory of that P1040462war. At one period of my life I read everything I could find about it; trying to understand man’s inhumanity to man. I was certainly more heartbroken about the Jews in Europe than paying much attention to the soldiers. In the early years, movies made it all look pretty glamorous.

I have a vague memory of the P1040455declaration that Korean War ended and although my brother-in-law fought in that war, I didn’t think much about that in those years.

Then came Vietnam. I had my head in a diaper pail and didn’t really look up until the soldiers were coming home. I became indignant in retrospect. I suppose because I had growing sons and daughter, I identified with the young people who had suffered the atrocities of war.

P1040457Once engaged in reality, it becomes hard to turn oneself away. And the reality of wars, whether they involved my countrymen or not, have weighed heavily on me and at the same time I feel powerless. I wish I could reconcile my abhorrence of violence with what seem to be economic justifications for fighting.P1040460

Do I believe that there are reasons to go to war? Absolutely! Do I feel that all of our sons and daughters who have died and been wounded physically and psychically have died and been wounded for good reason? Absolutely not!

I can’t change it. The one thing I can do is offer my full and unconditional support to all of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protect me.

Today, my birthday wish as I am digging in the soil is that each and every person who has been damaged by war and violence could spend time in my garden and experience the peace and healing that I find there.

Thank you, brave soldiers.




  1. I am slightly junior to you in that I was born when the war was raging in both the theaters. My first serious thoughts about war, soldiers etc were all after the Chinese invaded India in 1962. I tried to join the Indian Armed Forces with little success due to family pressures, but my friends did and some of them died in later wars with Pakistan. My best friend today is a twice wounded soldier who will die with a disability that I would not wish on a Pakistani soldier, I have many friends in the armed forces and am very proud of them too and am yet to come across one who likes to fight. And that is the funniest part of soldiering throughout the world. They would rather not fight and kill or be killed but they do.

    Our soldiers today are in some of the most difficult places on earth to live in up in the Himalayas keeping watch over terrorists incursions from Pakistan and Chinese misadventures every now and then. Cannot help but admire them for what they do under very difficult conditions.

    While sending you my birthday greetings and best wishes for many more, I also join you in wishing for peace.


  2. What a lovely and heartfelt post. I agree with your sentiments and also feel the same way about wishing others who are hurt and hurting could spend time in my garden… as gardens are incredibly healing places. Bless your heart for sharing this very touching article.
    May we all have peace. Gina
    PS: Happy Belated Birthday!


  3. This was a thoughtful connection between events in your live and the wars going on in the world, which is, in truth, how we do connect events. I made me stop and consider my life in connection to wars, major events, local tragedies…all the perimeters of life. Thank you!


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