Friday, November 04, 2011

War Stories in Real Time: I loved Joan Wickersham's editorial "War Stories in Real Time" which appeared today in the Boston Globe (link below). It was creative, well written and spoke to the gut wrenching reality about war. No matter what technological advancement the culture enjoys connecting both the warrior at the front and the family at home, there still is a wall of separateness between loved ones who are immersed in the reality of brutal conflict and those who experience the quietude of day-to-day life at home.

Letters read during Ken Burns's PBS exquisite historical narration of "The Civil War" speak to the distance that separates loved ones in war not only in miles but in emotions. It is a heart wrenching reality whether it is in 1860, in the letters to war widows of 1917 World War I, World War II newsreels or 2011 computer technology connecting soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan to home through Skype.

The sentence at the end of the editorial that sums up Ms. Wickersham's wonderful piece is perhaps the one I love the most. She says: "Technology may appear to erase distance, but the experience of war still creates distances that can never be erased." This poignant sentence surely is true for the Iraq War when our people at home were told by an opaque administration not to change their lives at home while soldiers had their lives irreparably changed forever over there.

I long for the day when the brutality of war is rejected as a dispute resolution tool. I long for the day when as the late 1960s' war protest song said: WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin!

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