It is Veterans Day today in the USA. Armistice Day coincided with Remembrance Sunday in the UK yesterday.
I shamefully admit this is the only time I have truly considered the day.
Obviously I know about war. I was at school in London when The Falklands war begun and it was a real threat that older school friends may be enlisted.
My parents were children when they were evacuated in the Second World War. My Mum went to Somerset and she remembers the gas mask in its box held over her shoulder and the fact that her older sister demanded that they stay together. My Dad was sent to Northampton where he promptly returned home on the train by himself. In London, he was forced into a shelter after the house disintegrated underneath a bomb.
This morning I think about the families who visit stones instead of faces and hugs.
I think of those who continue; with their right side focused on regularity while the left side is numb with an ache for loved ones serving overseas. I wonder about the men and women with their dusty boots, their finger on a trigger and a family photograph in their pocket.
These are spouses. Siblings. Friends. Relatives. These are parents. These are children.
I simply cannot imagine.
My own bereavement at least has a story I witnessed. The control that I lost haunts me, so not to have had any control nor great reason for a death is something I can only use as a personal tool to be strong in order to send out healing messages for others.
I send out my desire for peace, collectively and individually. That sounds grand from just one woman sitting in her pajamas with a cup of English tea on a sunny morning in Massachusetts. Would the same message of peace mean more coming from a monk sitting in robes on a misty morning from a Mountain in the Himalayas?
It all counts doesn't it.
I hope so.