When We Remember

Here I am, sitting comfortably with my lovely laptop…in a cushioned chair at ole Starbucks. I’m in Fort Lauderdale, my favorite getaway. I’m not here to get away – I’m here to focus on all that’s in front of me. Mostly writing stuff.

I hardly ever reveal some of my writing pieces before they’re crisp crossed. But I came across a piece I wrote a while back that’s knee deep in dust by now. It’s been tucked away for years, unused…and quite lonely:) In sure need of a rewrite, but I thought it was a good reminder…you know, that we are in a war fighting for souls of the people we love and care for. That’s everyone, right? It’s unfortunate when we/I let the little, minute things of life, you know, like this darn measly digestive problem or a fainting fatigue slow us/me down from what’s a stake.

When We Remember…

Dirty. Angry. Sick. Cold.

The soldiers felt through a myriad of complex emotions as a long, brute war took a turn and, at last, the Germans fell in defeat.

The American soldiers who lived to tell, from the now famous film Band of Brothers speak of the voices inside their heads—the rage the fueled within them as they finally arrived in Germany after months of treacherous fighting. They became despisers of the German people. With their small window of freedom they were allowed – they drank, found women to sleep with, and the rage was set on fire. Some stole things. Some slept and some wept. But all mourned in their own way.

It was a sad scene to see. Only the few held up to this test of honor, the ones who kept their focus even though the world around them was so distracted. The poor attitudes. The downward depression. It was all there. What do you expect? They had been in the worst war of the twentieth century. They had an up close and personal encounter with death. They had front row seats as their friends lost arms, legs, and lives. It was a cold and rigid war for these men. Now they had to let it all out. They had to vent. Their emotions weren’t made for this. With their guns by their sides, they dealt with it in their own way. What became important was “who got what” as one guy put it. Now they were more concerned about their own property, their own well-being than anything else.

You know what hurt them more than anything? It was their brothers who had died. It was the realization of the fathers and mothers who had lost their child. That hurt the men most. Think of the colonels and sergeants had to deal with the fact that one day they would be writing letters to these parents telling them how their child died. That hurt. That’s what caused the most pressing emotions to come out.

The other thing that really “ticked” the guys off were the new guys who arrived right as the war ended. Here you have all these bands of brothers who were glued together, who bonded together for months through thick and thin, and then all of sudden these new guys come in excited to get some action. That got to the their heads. One guy asked, “When am I going to see some action?” The other soldier explodes. He couldn’t take that while all his friends were dead. They asked, “What are we doing here? This is crazy!”

But then it happened.

As a group of men went looking around checking an area out, they walked through the forest and came across an abandoned area that was fenced in. It looked creepy at first. But then they saw something that would change their lives forever. In a moment every attitude changed. As they opened the gate these fragile, naked, sick people started coming out from their dirty shelters. The smell was almost too bad to take. Dead bodies were everywhere. They were desperate, they were longing, smoldering the soldiers pleading for help, for food. They were practically bones. It was the soldier’s first glimpse of the holocaust. There was somber and evil right in front of them.

One soldier asked, “What kind of camp is this?” One German replies, “This is a war camp.” The words that really hurt were these: “This is a Jew camp.” The soldiers couldn’t believe it. There here just for being a Jew. The man says with a terroring cry, “the women’s camp is down the road.” The soldiers opened the cargo boxes only to find dead bodies piled up.

In a moment the soldiers felt a brand new set of emotions. They wept in a different way. They realized their role, what they were called to do. They were reminded why they did what they did. It wasn’t about them anymore. They became small in that moment and for a while they stayed that way. It’s sad when people know they are at war but refuse to act like it.

In a similar fashion, we too must remember our roles. We might not see what we’re fighting for, but it’s going on.


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