Veterans Day. This day we set aside to remember and honor those who went to war and came back. Yet they never come back completely. Called by a great and worthy cause which is all too often wrapped in the shadows of lies, deception, and greed, they sacrifice their bodies, their minds, their souls, and their idealism. It is important we remember them this day and every day for despite all the waving of flags there is no glory in war. And we are all of us wounded by it.
I offer these excerpted words from John O’Donohue for the veterans of all wars. I offer them for all people touched by war – which is all of us.
When the pain takes you where you would rather not go,
Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place
You had forgotten you knew from the inside out;
And a time when that bitter tree was planted
That has grown always invisibly beside you.
Only you know where the casket of pain is interred.
You will have to scrape through all the layers of covering
Until your heart has wept its way to your true self.
As your tears fall over that wounded place,
May they wash away your hurt and free your heart.
I honor all victims of war. Especially my beloved husband of forty years who is a purple heart Viet Nam veteran and who created the artwork above. May the hurt be washed away. May hearts be free.