I was born at the beginning of World War II and I have no memory of that war. 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.
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.
Once 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.
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.