Monday, July 28, 2008

Never Again

I watched the final episode of Foyle's War last night. It was a superb series on PBS about police work during World War II in a small coastal town in Great Britain. How military maneuvering often got in the way of civilian justice.

Last night the War came to an end and the men were beginning to return home. Many having been away for four years or more, returning to family and loved ones who they no longer knew nor were they known.

One scene in particular struck me. A young lady volunteer was explaining to one such soldier how her volunteer organization had access to programs for retraining, even a married veterans club. He just stared then commented, in essence, "A married veterans club? Is that to help us pick up lives lost? Is that to help us forget what we've done and what we've seen?"

It was a strong episode, encompassing suicide, and those who badgered men into it. It covered the angst of the families not knowing how to deal with these men who had returned home haunted, damaged, forever changed.

Fast forward six plus decades and we still have war. Small towns and large cities are still burying the flag draped remains of those no longer haunted. A headline this morning reads 22,000 veterans called suicide line. Little has changed.

War goes on. Ethnic cleansing goes on. Jews around the world say of the Holocaust, never again and demand the world stand with them. Yet it continues. Bosnia and the Serbs not so long ago. Shiite versus Sunni now. Darfur. Who will be next? Men still go to war and they still return, but so many who bear no physical scars endure wounds so deep many will never recover.

As the Presidential campaign becomes more more and more contentious regarding patriotism and naivete and "real" understanding of what's at stake, I find myself becoming more and more impatient.

The next time the term "never again" is bandied about, I'd like it to be from a President who is not interested in prolonging a war for an undefined win, but rather one who promises us - and the world - "never again" will the United States initiate an unprovoked war. Never. Ever.


Anonymous said...

Why don't we have more like Foyle's War? I've watched this since its outset and it is probably the only one that I'd like to have on DVD.

I thought this war's end piece was haunting. In essence, Americans are living these moments of fear when a soldier returns who is distant,a wife who
has made all the decisions and now she can't adapt,and children who don't have a clue. Separation alone is damaging but what the veteran has endured is unimaginable.
Donna in AR

Word Tosser said...

We take these men and now women, and make them into fighting and killing machines... then when they are no longer needed, they are told to go home and have a life... Some with limbs gone some not...but definitely mental wounds that never shut off. Never heal. We are great at having the money to equipment them to war, but hardly anything to help them go back to their lives.
Wouldn't it be lovely, if they had a war and no one came...

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through HBO, and very much enjoy reading your musings.

I missed Foyle's War but based on what you and the commenters wrote, I'll definitely try to find it on DVD.

Did you watch tonight's "Wide Angle" presentation on child soldiers in Uganda? Another travesty in a world in which we hear time and time again, "never again."

Dogwalkmusings said...

Donna, good to hear from you as usual. You too word tosser. And welcome to another anonymous. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you visit and comment often. And yes, I am aware of the child soldiers in Uganda. How come we hear so little about these travetsies in nations that are predominantly black?? Hmmm?