The television movie listings came filled with war movies this Memorial Day weekend.
It seems like that always happens.
I don’t recall Labor Day weekend programming filled with movies about organizing workers or union themes.
But war changes things — in life and on the “tellie.”
While watching a snippet of “The Longest Day,” the film about the D-Day landing in Normandy during World War II, I recalled that my father took part in all the major invasions during that war — North Africa, Sicily, Normandy and across the Rhine into Germany.
How lucky I am that he survived those harrowing experiences. The films make death during war seem so random, the luck of the draw.
The film got me to wondering about how may wars the United States fought. I started counting in my head and came up with 12.
But my research turned up 20 if you include the Civil War, the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the war against the Creek Indians and some “interventions” in places such as Grenada and Panama. That's some 10 wars after “The war to end all wars,” World War I.
Of course, events in the Middle East dominated the past decade. Sometimes it is hard to remember when those wars began.
But if things go according to plan, the war in Afghanistan could end in 2014. Of course, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come with asterisks because they involved the U.S. and “coalition” forces.
But we know who did and does most of the fighting.
If the war in Afghanistan does conclude in 2014, it would end a 13-year stretch of fighting that started with the invasion of Iraq in 2001.
And the U.S. would not be at war. Imagine the United States not at war with someone.
Watching war movies makes a soldier’s life during war almost impossible to imagine.I’ll give some thought to that kind of sacrifice today. But I’ll spend more time trying to imagine how wonderful the world would be without wars.