Well, we finally made it to the end of Ramadan. And of course, the night of the Iftar has been full of plenty of celebratory fireworks, of course in keeping with the environment, in the form of tracer fire and illumination rounds. There is something inherently comforting to see such a display from the relative safety of our FOB and hear the countless volleys of fire ripping into the night sky. While the weapons of war make for a rather pathetic fireworks display—being designed for inflicting casualties rather than producing a visual spectacle—the fact that they are at least being used for this celebratory rather than destructive purpose does offer a bit of hope for better, more peaceful times to come…
What day may come in our time when we might make such weapons obsolete and useless in our society? When will our weapons of war, so plentiful in these areas, become mere tools for celebration and crude artifacts of the destructive cruelty of times long past? For this area, true peace is still a far off dream but it is by no means a forgotten one. Despite all the violence we and others before us have brought upon this land, there is still hope for a better tomorrow, a more peaceful future for the world of our children.
Weapons know not reasons behind their implementation. They cannot tell the difference between celebration and destruction. They are simply tools to be implemented by their human masters for ultimately human ends. The same weapons used to take lives in anger are the ones used to mark our holidays. They find themselves implemented in our darkest hours and our brightest moments. If ever they could tell their tales, what kind of stories would tell? And would anybody be brave enough to listen?
As we work towards the dream of peace, we are given only the implements of war. And yet, I know that somehow, someway we will find a means of one day turning our swords into plowshares, our mortars and machine guns into fireworks to mark the day of the end of war…at least for our place, our own time, and in our own hearts. Nothing is impossible before us and no war will go on indefinitely without end. While these times may be hard, the times to come will surely be better as they are ultimately of our creation. Let’s just not lose sight of our goals amid the chaos of our present condition. The road ahead may be difficult, but it is by no means impassable.
Happy Eid Al Fitar to all! Rejoice in this moment of peace. You have all earned it. Just make sure you save enough bullets for the days ahead. Tomorrow you weapons may be used for a very different purpose. I’ll be saving mine for the road ahead…
Peace in our time,
29 AUG 2011, 2250 AST, Orgun-E, Paktika, Afghanistan