important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and
In many countries across the globe people will
be observing Memorial Day this week. Originally, Memorial Day was
an observance of those who have made their transitions while serving in
the military. Today, many people take this time to not only
observe and honor those who have transitioned during military service,
but all those who have made their transition in service to others;
firemen, policemen and others. Additionally, many of us will take
this time to reflect on the memories of those we have known personally
who have made their transition.
It is difficult for many people to separate those who serve in the
military from the wars in which they serve. During the time of the
Vietnam War, strong feelings against the war translated to animosity
towards the troops who served in the war. It took years for
Vietnam Veterans to receive the honor and respect that their service
deserved. In the United States, this was the last war in which the
"Draft" was in effect. Many of those who served in the
Vietnam War, served because they were drafted. Many did not choose
to serve in this war ... but they did. And it was during this war
that so many side-effects; physical, mental, emotional ... were
experienced by the soldiers who returned from the war.
Once again, the United States finds itself in
an unpopular war ... in Iraq. Unlike the Vietnam War, the soldiers
in this war, have volunteered to serve ... although many volunteered to
serve in the National Guard ... but ended up in Iraq or Afghanistan.
As of Saturday, May 26, 2007, at least 3,451 members of the U.S.
military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003,
according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven
There are major differences in the influence of
the Vietnam War versus the Iraq War, on the psyches of the American
people. During the Vietnam War the network news shows were filled
daily with images of the war and film of the fighting. Each day
the American people were given glimpses of the effects of this war and
what our soldiers were enduring as they served their country. The
war in Iraq has been given little of this coverage and for the most part
little more than text messages run across the bottom of the television
screens reporting the casualties of this war. I believe that this
is a gross injustice to both the American people and to the soldiers
that serve in this war. We should have knowledge and an awareness
of what they are going through on a daily basis. We should be
given the information necessary for us to know what our soldiers are up
against and how this war is affecting them on a daily basis. A
conservative reporter stated, "war is hell, so we expect to have
casualties." But ... I am not so sure that the American
people are realizing how much of a "hell" that this war is.
And I believe that in order for people to develop within themselves the
appropriate respect and honor for the men and women of our military
services ... we should know what they are going through.
There have been news stories that tell us that
people who have erected images and reports of casualties of the Iraq war
have been criticized for doing so. Somehow our minds have been
twisted into believing that unless we "hide" the effects of
this war ... we are unpatriotic. I think this is nonsense.
Whether we are supportive of this war or not ... we are called, through
consciousness ... to be supportive of our troops. And in order to
support our troops we must know what is happening to them.
Personally, I do not want to see our soldiers as "numbers" ...
I want to have the awareness of how their lives have been affected by
this war. The Washington Post maintains a website that gives us
information about those who have lost their earthly lives in this war: Faces
of the Fallen ... is a website that every American should visit ...
often. It is important that you "know who these soldiers
are." And, for those who truly want to embody the
"purpose" of Memorial Day ... we can take this day to seek
information about those who served in the wars prior to this one ... and
this is something that everyone ... in every country across the globe
may consider to do.
In the Science of Mind, we realize that we must
acknowledge the facts in every situation. We don't give
"power" to the facts ... but we realize that the facts give us
information on how to act ... either in our mind or in our physical
actions. I am against war ... I think it should always be the very
last resort ... and I never believe that it should be ignored ...
covered up ... glossed over ... or kept from us. I believe that
having information regarding war gives us a greater impulse to pray for
peace ... to pray for the lives of the soldiers involved in wars ... to
pray for the families affected by the war ... and most importantly, give
us the conscious awareness to transcend the consciousness that creates
for all of those who have strongly held feelings against this war ...
I beg you ... release your hatred of those who you
blame for putting us in this war ... release your hatred of those whose
opinions differ from yours ... release your animosity towards the
soldiers and their families who support this war ... and other wars ....
your feelings of hate and animosity will not bring peace into our world.
Peace already "IS" ... Peace Is Of God ... we have allowed
ourselves to be "blinded" to it. And if we ever want to
"see Peace On Earth" ... we must let go of all things that
separate us from It in our minds ... and all things that separate us
from each other ... beginning right now!
SO IT IS!
Dr. Henry Lee Bates