War is hell. Too frequently necessary, but hell, nonetheless. We teach our children from the beginning to play nice, to say they're sorry when they hurt someone. We teach them that all men are their brothers, that we are all the children of our Heavenly Father who loves us. That He loves all men and that Christ died for the sins of all men. If we teach them well, and if they are receptive, they learn to believe it and then to know that it is true.
And then comes the necessity of war. We have to teach them to defend themselves from those who seek their death. We teach them to kill, and to understand that they may be killed. To fight on anyway.
We teach them of the 2,000 stripling warriors, who believed their mothers. Who believed that if they did not doubt that God would deliver them. And we teach them that it doesn't always work that way.
We teach them that they are part of a greater good, to rely on their companions and to protect one another. And we pray.
Today marks the 66th anniversary of the beginning of the end of World War II. My father flew bomber support for the troops storming the beaches of Normany. The weather changed day to day and hour by hour. At times, he had to return to base, unable to drop his load for fear of hitting the Allied forces. He never talked much about the war but was proud of the role he played in freeing Europe from tyranny.
He kept in touch with many of the men he served with during that war and the wars that followed. There develops a kinship amongst the men who serve together.
"And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother"
- Henry V, act IV, scene 3