Dresden used to be known as one of Europe’s architecturally loveliest cities, a place of cultural significance. Here, instead, we see a 1945 aerial photograph after the city was bombed in 1945. For the most part, only shells remained, and approximately 25,000 people died, with 90 percent of the city’s centre destroyed.
I have a friend, Paula Windsor, whose Family actually made it through the conflagration. Since it’s Remembrance Day, it’s hard not to think about the real cost of war – the loss of life on all sides. Paula wrote today, saying: “I remember very few houses like the huge ones in a connected row [which] were built up on one side and then you could see where the house was almost open and still in ruins on the other side….But East Germany was falling apart anyway,so I remember my city like Gray in Gray at the time and houses just falling apart with charcoal ovens inside and so….. My parents house was soooooo cold and nothing worked properly anymore…. (windows,pipes,roof…..) If The Wall would not have fallen, Dresden would be a mountain of bricks by now….”
Freedom isn’t free, as someone said, and so today we honor our troops – the living and the dead – for putting themselves on the line for freedom. God doesn’t “do this” to us: we choose war. War has money and politics as its root causes, a struggle for “power.” Over what? The grieving angel is a symbol of our faith and hope, in the belief that the truth will out, that we can all become better people by honoring those who fought for those values.
Read another post about the effects of war on children. My nisei Aunt Terry, who was six- years old with a mother dying of cancer, was uprooted from a family farm to an American internment camp by the U.S. government. (The family farm just so happened to be in the pricey Sonoma Valley in California, and it was never returned to the family. Just sayin’ about the land grab.)
Photo credit: Fotothek
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