Among my favorite songs is Pete Seeger’s, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” It is a haunting tune about death of young men during the Vietnam War. Unlike, patriotic songs of World War II, this one focuses on young men who are going to their deaths while sweethearts gather flowers in the field of agony. There is a gentleness to the song, a nostalgic memory of life that will shortly end because the Gods of War seek Death for those trapped in societal demands to kill “the enemy.” Some nights I go on YouTube and listen to the words and sounds of this song while in the hidden recesses of my mind, thoughts of young Americans returned from the madness of Afghanistan and Iraq whisper cries of pain. I cry listening to gentle words of peace. I cry for the souls of young men and women who will never know the joy of holding a new born baby in their arms. I feel sadness for being part of a society that sent them off to fight for –what and who? Yes, the orders came from George Bush, yes, the orders came from Barack Obama. Yes, our presidents were convinced there was a cause for which one should surrender life, and joy, and love.
I listen to words and sounds as tears fill my eyes. We never sent these young people to dwell in fields of flowers where they could hold hands with a loved one and feel the beauty of sun beating upon body as two people lay laughing amidst the flowers of love. We spoke of Mars to them, and forgot the tenderness of Venus. They returned from wars about nothing with wounded hearts and bodies, that is, if they ever returned. I so wish these young people could have been given life and hope by society. They needed a place in the Sun, and received a place in Hell of battle.
Where Have All The Flowers Gone? Alas, the field is barren of beauty, only Death resides in it!