Sunday, May 9, 2010
Thanks Mom, you taught me that being against war was OK
As a child, as far back as I can remember, my mother was often dropping hints about the horrors of war.
As a young woman during World War II she saw classmates, friends and relatives who left one day never to return.
Her father was wounded in World War I and bore the scars for the rest of his life.
Marrying my dad, an Army Air Force WWII veteran, very soon after the war ended seemed to have solidified the emotions that only peace and the living were what really mattered.
She never glorified war nor condemned the policies of it. Few of that era were aware of the inner workings of the conflicts but many did innately perceive the disconnect between their religious and ethical upbringing and the deadly results of what was the common man fighting for the rich and the powerful.
The reasons for war were repeated and propagandized until the wars were justified in the minds of most but never enough to negate the fear that mothers carried with them of the potential loss of sons and husbands.
I think my mother's very real fear for her son and others was why she expressed only negativity for war. It was basically the only negative that she consistently expressed. It rubbed off on me.
Mother proved her support of my anti-war leanings when I was kicked out of high school twice during my senior year in 1970. Both times it was for making symbolic gestures against the Vietnam war and the Kent State killings by wearing a black arm band to school during national days of protest. A silent protest by only about a dozen of us that was extremely mild considering the times but to an authoritarian principal in a repressive school system, it was considered over the line.
To get back in school my mother had to come to the school with me and sit through a lecture from the principal. The second time there were even threats of blackballing us from college with a bad reference.
Mother listened and nodded as the principal essentially said we were un-American and on the road to ruin. She didn't say a word. Later she did ask me to please not do anything like that again since there was only a couple of weeks until graduation and it would all be over. Privately she supported my anti-war views as it was what she had instilled in me.
A good mother does everything in their power to raise the kids to be good adults. Sometimes they teach us things that we carry with us the rest of our lives.
Like that it's OK to be against war and not to be afraid to speak up about it. And to think for yourself and not to fall for lies.
Happy Mothers Day .....