When We Wanted War

When it first began, we all wanted war.  War was a way to show your patriotism, your bravery, your love of an ideal.  War was a sideshow.  It made things interesting.  We all wanted war. 

As it wore on, the enthusiasm grew.  We watched the war unfold.  We kept careful count of victories, defeats, stalemates, surrenders. Everybody watched the war. 

But then, after a while, the monotony took the place of excitement.  We grew to think of it as something to be over; but it wouldn’t end.  Among some there was confusion; why was there a war? What were we fighting for, against, and who was winning? Surely someone was winning.  Statements turned into questions—who began this war? Who prolonged it? Who is suffering for it, killing for it, dying for it? We did.  We have.  We are. 

And when it was done, when the banners and fanfare and stunning, dazzling brilliance was over, and people picked up the broken pieces of their lives and packed them up and left, some with something remaining, most with nothing, nothing but the insubstantial ghost of dying patriotism, we looked around.  We saw what we had done, and we realized all it had caused.  And we understood how they all felt, all of them, the dead and the wounded, the maimed and the living, those lost and those alive only in appearance but dying slowly with each passing moment.  We realized that for all our passion, all our anticipation and our eagerness to fight and kill and not so much to die; for all that, in the end, we were all tired out.  In the end, no one was untouched.  No one still could feel the spirit they had before.  No one cared.  In the end, no one wanted war. 

Until somebody did. 

(Photo credit: Pexels.com)


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