War has been a prevalent factor in our societies, cultures, and histories for as long as humans have existed. It takes a great man to die for a good cause, it takes a poor leader for a man to die for a bad cause. In war the spirit and respect of our fellow man is forgotten. Soldiers or warriors are seen as an expendable number, some more so than others. Even worse the victims of war are seen as collateral damage. War in the past century has lost its personal involvement; with people able to kill from a distance of several hundred meters to people being able to push a button several thousands of miles away. War is no longer “romantic” it has become strategy.
A gun, a bomb, or any contemporary weapon requires no real talent to use; at least not compared to weapons of old such as the sword, or bow and arrow. Where then is our warfare heading? As people die everyday from violent excursions, what is it all for? Wars have been declared over resources, religion, love, pride, and just for the hell of it. Is a war ever needed to solve a conflict? Does war ever end a conflict? Let’s take a look through a soldier’s eyes during medieval times. A soldier from this time would have been skilled in sword based combat. Imagine if you would standing in a battlefield, a slight mist in the air, and thousands of others standing next to you all waiting anxiously.
I never wanted to be here. Yet I stand waiting the weight of my armor pressing down on my body. The leather on my sword starts to stick to my hand. My palms are sweaty; every time I am in the battlefield I can’t help but wonder if this will be my last time. Now is not the time to focus on those things, lest I lose my head. No one ever says a word the few moments before we launch into battle.
I look around at the sea of faces around me and I can see the fear in some of their eyes. Others hold a certain blood lust; drunk off the moment; ready and waiting to kill. I can’t think of my enemy as an individual that he actually is. I can not think of his mother or father, or that maybe he too enjoys fishing. I must see my enemy as an obstacle to overcome. It does not make this war any easier though.
It is quiet, the crows circle above me waiting, they know the routine; soon there will be a feast. Something is going on. In a matter of seconds the man in front of me falls as I see a blade flash by my head. Adrenaline, flowing, two men stand before me. Quickly I thrust my sword and prepare a parry. Fuck my sword slipped out of my hand. Damn my sweaty hands. A stinging, burning, in my side. The pain is so intense I can’t even think, all I can do is retrace the instant I was stabbed. Before I even hit the ground the burning doubles and I find myself landing upon my own fallen blade.
It wasn’t supposed to end like this, I can’t die I am different. The pain now is unbearable, I black out. Am I dead? No, where am I? I can hear people talking. I try to cry out but all I feel is a burning in my lungs. Did I make a sound? Why can’t I open my eyes?! Help, help I scream but no one comes. I never wanted to be here I never wanted this.
As with any victim in war death becomes inevitable, if you are lucky you will die on the battlefield. If you are unlucky you will relive every day with the torment of your memories. In time one will desensitize and it becomes common place. Life feeds on life. The difference though between humans and animals is that humans can choose to overcome their animal instincts. Humans don’t though. It is easier to be the animal and not the consciousness within. If all rulers were aware of their actions; if all rulers appreciated every moment would this world be better? Old men celebrate victories and wage wars while young men bleed and die. All for the ideas of another.
With wars being waged over religions, resources, and selfish goals is it any wonder that many do not want to fight? Does the cause or reason for a war change the fact that it still makes men into murderers? With every life taken a debt is made, but who owes the bigger debt the instigator of the war or the soldier? Now this is not to say that war does not have its purpose; nor does it mean that those that die are not appreciated quite the opposite. It is because the individual is valuable that every person ever involved in a battle must not be forgotten but honored. As painful as war is there is no near end to it only hope that someday man may choose consciousness over instinct. So in appreciation of those who have passed on in war; whether they be soldier or civilian; we ask a moment of silence. Take a break for about 5 minutes and be thankful for what you have; and be respectful for those who have passed on.