This I Believe

Beth - Hobart, New York
Entered on March 22, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: war

I believe in the truths of war.

I was a teen during the late stages of the Vietnam war. I vividly remember seeing body bags placed in helicopters, flag draped coffins back in the US, and a scroll of names of the dead across the TV screen. I remember learning to hate war.

In the intervening years, we have seen a wave of increasing violence in our popular culture. The movies, music and video games that are oft decried as ruining our youth. I am not much affected by this after having seen the violence of Vietnam and having raised my own child with a clear understanding of right, wrong, and compassion.

Now we are in war again. We are “protected” from the honest visuals of war – the body bags and coffins which taught us to hate war. The honest visuals of war do not serve to thrill us as the violence of popular culture does, but rather to bring home the very rude truth. But this is not how we are being shown this war – We see only shelled buildings, Iraqis attempting to rebuild after the explosions and select soldiers acting as talking heads for the themes our government wants us to hear.

Without such honest images, how are our youth supposed to learn to hate war as much as I and those like me do ? Does “protecting” young people from the horrid truth aid their understanding of how the world works and the prices our soldiers pay each day when our country goes to war? Is the sanitary coverage of this war truthful, accurate and honest ?

I believe in the truth.