War, I despise ’cause it means destruction of innocent lives.
“War”, Edwin Starr
Strong, Barrett / Whitfield, Norman J.
The classic Christmas ballad, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, was released around Christmas time in 1943, and became a huge hit for singer Bing Crosby.
The song, which speaks of wishing to be home with family for the holidays, complete with “snow and mistletoe, and presents on the tree,” wasn’t originally written from the point of view of a soldier stationed overseas, but quickly took on that meaning, since it was released during wartime. For many of the servicemen, the only way to get back home for Christmas was “only in my dreams.”
Two years earlier, and 75 years ago today, Japanese forces made sure that over two thousand servicemen stationed at Pearl Harbor would not be home for Christmas. Any Christmas.
Imagine how December 25, 1941 must have been for the families of all those lost just eighteen days before.
It’s a pain that has been experienced through our history. From the American Revolution to the present, over a million Americans have died in battle. That’s a lot of families through the decades, suddenly overwhelmed with an enormous loss. Their beloved soldier would not be home for Christmas…or ever.
Now, I know there are plenty of other people who, for whatever reason, are separated from their loved ones at Christmas time. I’m not ignoring them, or belittling their circumstances. (Not intentionally, at least.) That especially goes for all the victims of violence – gun violence, mainly – and their bereaved, devastated families.
But, on this somber anniversary, my thoughts go to all those who have been separated, temporarily or permanently, by the harsh reality of war. I’m not going to debate the rights and wrongs of war here, other than to say, I hate what it does to families.
And not just American families.
So, here’s a few Christmas wishes, from a grateful civilian:
To all of you military men and women, spending Christmas somewhere far from home, thank you for your service. I wish you were here, too. Come home soon, and safe. Merry Christmas.🎄 🎁
To all of you celebrating Christmas while waiting for your loved ones to come home, thank you for the sacrifices you make. May they return soon for a joyful reunion.
And to all of you facing, again or for the first time, the unbearable pain of never seeing another Christmas with that mom or dad, that son or daughter, that brother or sister, that husband or wife, that special person…
My heart goes out to you. You are going through grief of a magnitude many of us will never know. I am so very sorry. I wish you love and comfort in your sorrow.
And to everyone, Peace on Earth.