My mother is basically a pacifist. As a youngster, she lived on the island of Guam. She was 4 years old on December 8th 1941 (Guam is on the other side of the International dateline) when the Japanese invaded. She was practicing for a Christmas program in church wearing angel wings when her parents grabbed her and took her home. My grandfather was a part of the Guam guard, he about 160 other marines, sailors and Guam guardsmen were no match for the 5500 Japanese invaders.
My mother spent the next 4 years living under Japanese occupation. Understandably she learned to hate war. But along with her feelings about war, she taught us a profound respect and gratitude for those American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who liberated Guam. My younger brother was an Army officer and my oldest son is on active duty in the US Navy. My second son returned to Afghanistan to finish his tour this week, he is currently serving with the storied 82nd Airborne — hooah!
My mother taught me to hate war, and for good reason. But she also taught me that freedom is not free and to honor those who have make the ultimate sacrifice to win and preserve that freedom.