Futility of War

Over the summer I took my son to the Armed Forces HistoryMuseum in St Petersburg. It is an excellent museum and worth the vist.

The visit, however, was very emotional for me. It surprised me actually how emotional I become.  In the WWII section, there is a replica of a German outpost. The room is filled with swastikas. I had to explain to my 6 yr old why I started crying and had to leave the room.

Other areas of the museum made me feel really grateful that there were men and women who were willing to put their lives on the line to help other people in need.

I left feeling a strange mixture of pride in humanity and sadness at the futility of all of it.  War is a tragic waste of human lives. There is no other way to describe it. I can’t help wondering how many of the wars humans have waged were absolutely necessary. 

I understand that some of the wars were necessary. After all, brutal dictators cannot be allowed to enslave the world. I realize that pacifism is a noble goal, but in some circumstances, unrealistic.  It is just that, it would be nice if we could end wars and find less violent ways to solve conflicts.

In the meantime, thank goodness that there are men and women willing to do the difficult and dangerous work that is still unfortunately required from time to time. Let’s just hope that humanity progresses past this point eventually.

In the meantime, as I said, for a museum to move me in two completely different directions emotional means that this is one heck of a museum and worth visiting regardless of whether you are a pacifist or not.

Image: "Old Army Jacket" by Maggie Smith http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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