I read an interesting fact the other day about how the newest batch of high school freshman (b. 1999) do not remember a time when we, The United States, weren’t engaged in conflict with Afghanistan and Iraq. I’m not sure why the piece of information surprised me, seeing as how the wars have been a presence during my entire adult life (I was a college freshman on September 11th) thus far. Falling in love with an Army cadet at age 18 means that my entire post-high school existence has been somewhat determined by our involvement overseas.
So when I hear the word war, it doesn’t make me think of news reports with footage of our military. The word being flippantly thrown around doesn’t conjure up images of other people making sacrifices while my life continues as normal. And war certainly doesn’t make me think of yellow ribbons and Old Glory flying high.
War makes me think of death. After all, war is flag-covered coffins being unloaded off of a plane at Dover AFB. War is a family being handed a folded flag by a white-gloved soldier. War is tears. War is separation. War is dirty. War is expensive. War is a word that should only be used when absolutely necessary. So are those the drums of war we hear? For the sake of our country, I hope not.