Tuesday, February 25, 2014

All Creatures Great and Small

When my siblings and I were younger, our parents got us the boxed set of tapes of the TV show All Creatures Great and Small.  The series is about James Herriot, a veterinarian in England who joined a practice a couple years before World War II.  The TV show follows James and his colleagues through the many trials and joys of being a small town and country vet.  The show was based off the books that we also had and that Mom read to us.  I recently found that the full episodes of the TV show are on Youtube and I've been watching them as I've had time.  I'm on season 3 right now.  England has just entered World War II and it's only a matter of time before all the young men in the country will sign up or be drafted.  I don't remember if James or either of his colleagues went to fight.  I do believe that vets were exempt from the draft because of how desperately their services were required at home to keep animals healthy so the country wouldn't run out of food.  It was a scary time for them.  Knowing that their world is being turned upside down and yet trying to continue their lives as if nothing has happened, trying to be cheerful and not think about the awfulness of war.  The older men in the dales remember and talk about the first World War.  They know, better than anybody, what's coming.

I often wonder what our country would do if there was another world war.  Because of the technological advances in weaponry, another world war would look much different than the previous ones.  I doubt we'd ever have another draft.  I mean, we have the weapons capability to wipe out huge cities or small countries.  If it came that close to another world war, I would think we'd just annihilate the other country, rather than risking the lives of so many of our men and women.  We would never allow one country to sweep across Europe and kill so many people.  But that's assuming we can stop them, of course.  We aren't the only country that has advanced weapons.  If it came right down to it, I think it would be a matter of who bombs who first.

I would never wish another war of that magnitude on our country but I do so wish we could learn the lesson again without the bloodshed.  My generation doesn't understand what it's like to wonder if we're actually going to lose a war and be taken over by another country.  My generation doesn't understand how important it is to be united in the support of our troops.  My generation doesn't know the cost of freedom.  We are so quick to throw away our freedoms because we don't have an empty place at the table that daily reminds us of the cost of that freedom.  We allow the government to tread on us as it promises security and safety, not realizing that it can't guarantee those things, and even if it could, our freedom is too high a price.  For the past 200+ years, men and women fought and died for our freedom... and now we hand it over to a government that cannot be trusted.  Sad.

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