Last year, my homeland marked the first time in history that our census showed over 80% of our population have never experienced war, being born post-WWII. I am one of the 80%.
When I was growing up, nobody around me who had lived through the War wished to talk about it. Maybe it was still too painful to bring up. Maybe they wanted to forget, and thought they could if they did not talk about it. Maybe they wanted the world to forget war by never mentioning it.
Most of the people around me who had lived through the War have passed away. Much of their knowledge and experience on war have perished with them. Yet, war itself still exists around the world today, ever evolving in methods and means. And I fear that many more conflicts and disputes, as well as what could be interpreted as aiding and abetting, would one day become full-blown wars.
I get the feeling that those who had lived through the War and are still with us are much more fearful than I am. Maybe they are seeing the same signs and symptoms of the pain they experienced? Maybe they are reminded of the things they have been wanting to forget? Maybe they now wish to talk about their experiences so we will know how to prevent or arrest growth of war if it did break out?
I feel that if they are willing to talk now, we must listen attentively. It is possible that by addressing their concerns, we might be able to make a few “if’s” never come true. In so doing, maybe when they finally do leave us, they can slumber a little more restfully and peacefully. And maybe they can tell their families and friends who were lost in the War to slumber a little more restfully and peacefully when they meet up on the other side.
Maybe I, as one of the 80%, and maybe you, have never experienced war, but I think many of us have had experience wishing restful and peaceful slumbers for those who were lost in wars. I hope this experience, together with what we learn from the stories told by those who have lived through wars, will form the foundation in aiming for a world with less conflicts and disputes, as well as aiding and abetting.
I tatted today’s piece in sky blue, the colour representing restfulness and peacefulness, for the 2,403 lives that were lost seventy-five years ago today