Summary: Are you part of the healing or do you hinder it?
Seeing all these things about Veterans Day on Facebook reminded me of an incident with my Mom. I spent a couple of years living across the creek from the only Black family in town. Loman and I fished the creek together and ate at each others homes so Mom was not a racist. Thus it was funny when I told her that when I grow up and join the Air Force I might go to Germany and get myself a Fraulein for a wife. She immediately said, "You will not! You'll marry one of your own kind!" I said, "Mom, with a name like Shultz what else would be my kind?" She meant American! After all, her brother fought in the Pacific and we did fight the Germans in WWII. Well, she got her wish as I married a lass of Scottish descent, but born right here in the good old USA.
War brings out things in you that you would not normally have. Had I said I might marry a Japanese woman she might have beat me half to death after seeing what the war did to her favorite brother. He could not watch anything like Combat or 12 O'clock High (which I loved) without breaking out in a sweat and shaking a bit. My father-in-law who fought his way up the Italian boot could watch documentaries and tell me some things because I was in the military, but he had some very vivid and bad dreams right after the war.
I don't even think I could have brought a Filipina, though we had been allies, anywhere near an European Theater veteran as he would not have seen any difference between her and a Japanese woman. My uncle would have known the difference and may have accepted her.
It takes a long time for people and even a nation to heal after such conflicts. Indeed, this nation is still not healed after the War Between the States or the Indian wars, let alone the scars of more recent conflicts.Some Nam vets would still have some animosity and not want to be around any Asian though some married Viet Namese and Thai women. When you have been wounded physically or emotionally by representatives of some group it is hard to see an individual. Somewhat a reverse of the old saw of not being able to see the forest because of the trees. In this case, you can't see the trees because of the forest.
Not only the participants in the conflict, but also the families are affected and so the pain fades even slower. Imagine a Japanese or German woman moving next door in 1947 when you lost a son in the Pacific or you have a disabled husband that cannot get out of bed because he was a POW in Germany. It would be tough to embrace her like you might any other new neighbor.
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. Proverbs 18:19 KJV
We have been a nation of wars both foreign and domestic since our inception. Much pain and sorrow has been experienced or passed on so bitterness exists between many people groups. While this day is a time of remembrance of our fallen and gratitude to all that have served, may we also make it a time of prayer for healing and reaching out to heal wounds no matter in what conflict they were created. It may be hard as the verse says, but not impossible if you let the wisdom, love and peace of Christ guide you through the process. Shalom! Maranatha!