26 December 2005

A follow-up to my Christmas Wish post

I posted a very brief message late Christmas Eve. The message consisted of three words ("Dona nobis pacem"), linked to the Iraq casualties page. There are only two responses to this message on the blog, both from my brothers. Off the blog, I have received a few more responses sent via email. These were much less pleasant.

That one post was apparently enough to brand me a "trator" in the eyes of some. Suggesting that there is a real reason to wish for peace makes me a coward, willing to "sell out our brave troops to score a petty little political point." Wow. I had no idea that hoping that people stop dying is an act of such cowardice.

I suppose I'd better apologize to my wife, my brother Ben, my brother-in-law Ricky, every household in my neighborhood, and countless other people I know for "selling out." Guys, I'm real sorry that I dared to publicly wish that you won't need to put your lives on the line in a combat zone during the new year.

People who think that wishing for peace sells out the troops are probably the single greatest argument I can think of in favor of restoring the draft, because those people are almost definitely the ones who don't know anyone in the service.

I'm sure that they haven't had to deal with the knowledge that someone in a loved one's unit has died, and notifications will be taking place shortly. I'm sure that they haven't had to remember that on a day like that you make sure to phone your next door neighbor before going over, just to make sure that they aren't startled by your knock. (The casualty notifications come as a knock without prior warning.) I'm sure that they haven't felt the blessed mixture of relief and guilt when their prayers that it was someone else's loved one are answered.

Wishing for peace is not a sign of fear or weakness. Wishing for peace is simply a symptom of humanity.
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