My granddaughter paints a row of red flowers with crosses in between. “Flanders Field” she tells me. She’s six.
“Your great-great grandfather, my grandfather, was shot in Flanders Field.”
She raises her eyes to meet mine. “Did he die?”
“No, but he was injured.”
He was crawling across the field when the bullet entered and passed through his stomach exiting in an uncomfortable place, I’d been told.
“It’s why he drank so much,” one of my aunt’s told me. “To cope with the pain.”
Likely to cope with the PTSD too, I think. I know my father suffered from it, although no one called it that in those days.
I tell her that my Dad fought in a war too. His job was to sneak into enemy territory and eke out their ammunition stash and then report back to his unit.
“Who won?” she asks.
“The good guys,” I say.
She nods her head and listens intently and I think how far removed this sweet soul is from the horrors of wars, and I pray that she will never know it in her lifetime.
Peace. How long will the sacrifice of our ancestors last?
Are we forgetting?