In the United States, today we recognize Memorial Day. Originally called Decoration Day, from the tradition of decorating graves with flowers and flags. It is a remembrance of those who have died in service to our country. It is sad that after thousands of years on earth, humans have not learned how to avoid war. As I write this, the terrible situation in the Ukraine rages on. Soldiers from both sides are perishing every day. Not because they personally dislike each other, but because of decisions made by their governments. Not only is this true of the soldiers sent to war, but the innocent families torn apart for political gain.
Here in the United States, we have seen our share of casualties. In the civil war alone, 620,000 soldiers lost their lives. That occurred between 1861-1865, when the population of the country was a lot lower. In World War II, an estimated 70-85 million people perished. At the time, the earth’s population was only 2.3 billion. That means roughly 3% of it was killed as a result of war. These numbers may seem to big to fully appreciate. Let us just take one. How does it affect your life when someone you care about passes away? Does it just affect you, or is there a ripple effect? Think of how painful that is. Now, can you imagine multiplying that times 70-80 million? Each person we lose to war is someone’s son, brother, father, mother, daughter or sister. The pain is felt by everyone they know. Each loss could be someone who could have a great impact in the world. It could be someone who could help us cure disease, feed the poor, or even feed our spirit.
No matter what country you are reading this in today, I ask that you take a second to offer thoughts and prayers for not only those we have lost to war, but to the friends and family they have left behind. Pray for the human race that we may better appreciate the value of human life. If we all do this, perhaps we can heal the hearts of nations.