Usually men and women in their thirties to fifties realize their grandparents were the most wise individuals they had ever spoken to, though didn't listen to. They grew up set in their ways--all the wrong ones-- that they subconsciously picked up from proceeding generations. Pretty soon these people have children and, sometimes unknowingly, pass down their views. When things get bad everyone searches for a place to point their finger; once the target is recognized a seemingly effective solution easily and conveniently presents itself: war. As thoughtless, vile and shameful as it may seem, it’s simply too easy a deal with the devil to pass up; just think how long you can keep the enemy down with such immediate revenge! Yes, this is just the problem. There is so much to be learned from war and its effects, it just seems no one pays attention to the lesson and keeps asking to repeat it, time after time again. What can we learn from war, you ask? Well, read on with an open mind and we shall see just how much an individual can learn.
War is the result of two or more cultures’ ideas clashing, no one wants to give in, so violence is the easiest way to go; just like two children in the school yard trying to decide who gets to go down the slide next. In Flags of our Fathers the men left all they loved to clash with other men who fought for all they loved and to die for their respective countries. Even if they won or did something respectable it wasn’t given more notice than someone changing their light bulb to one of those that lasts longer. They were one of many. In the movie, Ira Hayes--even though deemed a hero--was still not respected. An owner of a restaurant refused serve him because was Indian, now known as Native American.
The movie also shows us that the last thing veterans returning from war want is to be seen as a hero after all the horror they’ve witnessed. They would rather people try to understand the mental and sometimes physical pain they endured and to simply move on. Perhaps once we better understand what our troops go through during the course of war we’ll be much less likely to wage one again with such haste and ignorance.
To learn from war, we must peer into our society from outside the box. We want so badly to learn about far away planets and find out if we are alone in the solar system when we haven’t even mastered our own civilization. This is why we crumble; we are too focused on what everyone else has and what they are accomplishing instead of looking for ways to improve and make ourselves strong. Once we do that, we can come together in peace and help one another move forward. Why else would they put blinders on horses, other than for them to focus on what’s important?
So as you see, war--unfortunately--offers a vast volume of unutilized knowledge. Just like grandfathers, they come and come again without hardly ever being listened to. Flags of Our Fathers tells the story of misunderstood, suffering men of war; it is the same story that has been trying to be heard for decade after decade. All that I know, is the more facts we obtain, the more wisdom withers in our violently competitive world.
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