Visitors to this blog see the most recent posts first, and immediately sense disenchantment with the wars. It wasn't always so. If visitors go to the oldest posts first, and work forward through time, they will see this disenchantment evolve over repeated trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. I noticed that the other day when reviewing the archives in chronological order, oldest to newest. So many have died in these wars. Some live in my memory; most live on in the memories of those who knew and loved them. Did these deaths serve a purpose? A friend, a journalist whose beloved died in Iraq, spoke about her life and death, and ended with the words, "Was there some purpose to this? I hope so."
Ted Kennedy spoke of a letter his father wrote to a friend when a child had died. Why the death? How to go on? What's the sense in that loss? We have to go on, the letter said, fold the loss into ourselves, appreciate the value of life and not waste it going forward.
Maybe part of maturity is being able to do that, to savor joy of the fleeting moment in the shadow of inevitable sorrow.