THE FUTILITY OF WAR
This is the story of a 93-year-old man and and an 11-month-old boy.
Each occupy a bookend of life; together they paint a picture of the futility of war.
My grandfather Jack Dihm was a decorated war hero – a veteran of Libya, Egypt, Greece, Crete, and the Pacific. On Anzac Day he would march, chest proudly pinned with medals of valour.
What he witnessed could not be put into words.
At times, a glass of wine would bring a tiny tear to the corner of his eye. He would remember. Then yearn to forget.
This is what I learned: war veterans are the greatest pacifists.
“War is a terrible thing,” he once said. “It’s not just the horror. It’s the sheer pointlessness of it all. One side says or does one thing. The other side strikes back. Where does it end?”
This conversation was prompted by my 7-year-old son (pictured right with Jack Dihm) playing with a toy gun. I thought his great grandfather would be chuffed seeing Taj dressed up in combat gear, but his face bore a mask of horror.
That particular fancy dress costume soon saw the lining of the bin.
I was reminded of my grandfather’s words while reading analysis of the latest conflict in the Middle East.
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