Monday, May 28, 2012
My View of Memorial Day
The American Civil War was one such war that many men desired despite the fact that it could have been avoided. It is also a war that has been elevated to the status of a Glorious Struggle. Great men have written great words to describe what was only a family argument that ended in the spilling of more American blood than all other American wars combined. I do not take this moment to debate the rights and wrongs of that war. I will confess that as a young man I loved to read about this war, visit the battlefields, and even dreamed of participating in it. I have lived on both sides of the battle lines, and have lived among the descendants of both armies. I can tell you that both camps take great pride in the events of that bloody conflict. Many of them understand the importance of remembering in order to prevent such tragedy again. Many do not. But I am only taking this opportunity to remind us all what can happen when political division is taken too far.
By one account, there are seven civil wars presently being fought in the world. A recent United Nations report found that since 1970, more deaths from civil war have occurred than deaths in all other wars fought in that period. They are also lasting longer, from an average of two and a half years (pre-1970) to over three times that by the year 2000. This kind of strife is horrific, tearing communities and families apart. It leads to bitterness that can hardly be described.
If the only option you have to defend your position is to attack your opponent, you have already lost the debate. Promote your position. Do not tear down your opponent's position. Otherwise, find something else to talk about since it is obvious you do not know enough about the subject at hand.