On a personal level, and I am fascinated by the conflicts of the past, whether right or wrong, especially the 2 world wars, I can only thank the Lord that the losses we have are not of the same magnitude of the past, eg 50,000 dead or wounded on ONE DAY at the Battle Of The Somme.
Having lost people very close to me very recently, albeit in different circumstances, my thoughts and prayers go to all those that have to bear this burden now.
I'm also fascinated by previous wars, and I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like when you read about so many young men dying on one day.
At the end of the day Henry Allingham (WW1 veteran) had the right idea - 'You might as well talk first, you have to talk last anyway'.
My heart goes out to those families who have lost loved ones in all wars.
The sight of the union jack draped over coffins in the cargo hold of an aircraft is a terrible one(having witnessed it first hand),and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones in any of our countries conflicts.
In those days Northern Ireland was a dark place, but by working hard and having both sides learning to reconcile their differences it is now a largely peaceful community, and one where I am very proud to have an office staffed by people from both sides of the religious divide. This would probably have been impossible 20 years ago, and without exception you will not find a more friendly nation. I love the time I spend in Belfast now, and we can put the past behind us.
Without being political, I am afraid that I do not feel that same thing about the conflicts in the Middle East, although serving soldiers do their duty wherever they are asked to go without question, and with sheer professionalism every time. If they do not agree with the politics, they will probably earn better money in civvie street. They are all true heroes, and like Paul I was glad to be amongst them for nearly 20 years.
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