Written by Percy Pascoe
Thursday, 21 June 2012 14:30
I’ve been giving more thought on the subject of war. I suppose this was forced upon me as news trickles in on the deaths of more courageous men and women in service to our nation in lands that once were foreign to us not so long ago.
How do we measure war? For our people? For our nation? For our military? I felt the need to quietly give greater thought on these conflicts
I was just 11 years old when war broke out on December 7, 1941. It began with an unmitigated attack on Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands by the Imperial Japanese Navy. “Remember Pearl Harbor” became our national mantra. I and all other children around my age were keenly aware of that catastrophic event.
It could not be hidden from anyone, as the signs of its existence were everywhere: in our homes, in our classrooms, at our businesses and on our jobs.
Small banners were displayed in many windows. The color of the stars showed whether the serviceman or servicewoman was alive or had been killed.
Almost everything you used was rationed. This included fuel, especially for your gas-driven vehicle—not that we had one. (It was lost, along with our home and bank account, at the beginning of the Great Depression.)
You had some round red chips made of a hard paper with which you purchased meat. There were other foods rationed, as well. It required some skills to create a meal that was both tasty, as well as nutritious—and available.
But we were in a great war and there was little grousing. Everyone shared in some sacrifice. After all, our brave men and women were sharing greater difficulties in their lives than we were in ours—some even paid the supreme sacrifice—that of their lives.
Where is the mutual sacrifice in this era of wars—some ending, some beginning, some with no end in sight.
Just recently, on St. Louis Channel 5 news, it was announced that another young man, Jeffrey White, had given his life in the conflict in the Middle East. Another family is grieving today. Another young life with his great potential will never be known for this soldier.
Today, only volunteers risk death in our wars. This is unfair! Only a draft can assure us of equality in service and sacrifice. But that has little prospect of being brought back.
So, some will suffer serious injury or death; others will live as if nothing was occurring across the world.
This can only be equalized with a general draft. What’s your argument against this?