Blessed are the Peacemakers

A friend of mine forwarded me a picture of his 5 year old grandson.  He was dressed as a cowboy and pointing a revolver at a security guard outside a Star Wars Convention.  The security guard had his hands up in a gesture of surrender and an expression of mock terror on his face.   Cute?  Or disturbing?

My father told of how, “as little boys we always assumed that the Germans would make war – and we should be little drummer boys – the result of a very mild form of indoctrination.”  Signing up as a seventeen year old he met the reality of the trenches, of being shot and wounded – twice.

Last week we commemorated the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, the start of the liberation of Europe.  Interesting words, “commemorate”- remembering something together – and “liberation”.  And what was Europe liberated from?  Among other things from a regime that said that some people are of value and others are not.

On last week’s Antiques Roadshow a woman brought a picture of her grandfather in military uniform, seated at a table in a First World War dugout.  He had been a stretcher bearer.  On his chest was the ribbon of the Military Medal awarded to him for bravery.   “Was he proud of receiving that?” asked the military expert.  “Yes, but he was more proud of a friendship he made that lasted a lifetime,” said his grandaughter.  He, with other stretcher bearers was picking up the wounded and came across a young wounded German.  The others wanted to “finish him off”, but her grandfather insisted he had a right to be saved and to live.  They connected, corresponded and visited each other until they were both into their nineties.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Chris Dawson

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