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War and the Agony of Parents

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War and the Agony of Parents


This past Friday, my son was graduated from Cal. State University with honors in Mechanical Engineering. In the sea of engineers walking up to the podium to receive their respective degrees, my Aaron was one of three ME's wearing the gold vestment over his gown, signifying his accomplishment and membership in Tau Beta Pi, the ME honorary society.


My initial feelings were those of pride and adoration. They was followed rapidly in sequence by two other emotions-one, a fear of loss, followed by that of grief for the losses of parents and loved ones of those of our children who have died in Iraq.


"Children?" you say. True, they are now adults, and not to be confused with those little creatures running about, laughing and playing. The fact remains, however, that they are someone's children who couldn't protect themselves from life's dangers, and it grieves us to know it.


It hurts so badly. There's something excruciating and at the same time infuriating, as we look down at the bodies of these helpless children--young men and women--given now, without their consent, to a respite they did not request, eyes closed, seemingly oblivious to our sense of loss.


It has a generic quality about it. You can see it in the faces and hear it in the voices of the detectives on "Forensic Files," and "Cold Case Files, expressing their own pain when considering the outrageous injustice of hideous and unnecessary deaths at the hands of malevolent misanthropes of society, those who deal out their inane and unjust punishment to innocents, similar to victims of the inquisition, and who die with one unspoken question on their lips:




These two scenarios have the same unfathomable meaninglessness; but what makes the losses in Iraq-and those of Viet Nam before it--even more exquisite are the deliberate and calculated lies and misinformation cynically proffered and pounded into the public's awareness, given with a shrug, as if to say that the loss of these boys and girls really is for a higher purpose, which is to say, for the trivial pursuits of the ruling class. [i]


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Previously Staff Physician, California Department of Corrections
43 years in practice
writer on Social, Jewish and Medical issues
pilot, skiier, and perpitetic philosopher
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