November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day and the Birth of a Prophet

Today, November 11, Veteran's Day.

My father-in-law survived Iwo Jima. My father was the first to go to college on the G.I. Bill. I am not sure how that happened, as he did not serve.

Had my father gone to war, I might not be here, or my father may not have been able to be the kind person he was. Like others, he may have turned to drink. Or retreated into a deeper reticence than was already his nature.  I know now, he lost a brother in the war.

I lost a grandfather, who fought in Stalin's army, or was sent to Siberia for not being loyal enough. Or for having a German wife.

War left its mark on my mother, her mother, and her siblings. And I do believe I drank my mother's life long fear of war in my mother's milk. Or is that simply my imagination speaking?

War leaves its mark wherever its victims go. World War II is in me, it is in my husband's memories as a baby and as a young boy who got to wear his father's purple heart on days that he was sick at home in bed.

November 12th is the birth of Bahaullah, the founder of the Baha'i Faith.  A world religion that was an outgrowth of Shi'ism, but that embraces all major religions.

My husband's father survived Iwo Jima humbled, but his soul intact. As he tried to fathom his place in a changed world, he became a Baha'i.

Thank you Chuck for your service and for raising such an independent son, my wonderful husband. I only wish you could have known your youngest grandchild.

Thank you to all who have served in battle for our freedoms, keeping faith so we could build your future.. May it be a future without war.


  1. thank you for making me curious enough to look up information on the Baha'i Faith. I did not know anything about it.

  2. I espouse your hope of a world without war.

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  4. I still keep wondering how we break the human pattern, of trying to resolve conflict, by warring. It is the ultimate Catch-22. Darn, if living with a dry drunk didn't give me a lot of experience with Catch-22's!

    Marcia, yesterday made me reflect on so many things. This was the first year that I realized that Bahaullah was born so close to the day we celebrate as Veteran's Day. I wanted only to explore the coincidence of the Baha'i views, and how it impacts my own story and that of my father-in-law. Only now does it come clearer, the message of the Baha'i faith, that we are all one people, regardless of religious beliefs, race, culture. So then why war?

    Sometimes, living in the day to day, I forget that much of my upbringing reflects the wide-ripple effect of war. Though my father did not serve, my mom survived war-torm Europe, was a teenager when the WWII ended. How many more men and families will be damaged... and how many generations if we cannot find a way to bridge our misunderstandings?


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~