“Sergeant, what is it makes you willing to die.” — Saint-Exupe’ry, Wind, Stand, and Stars.
Every now and then one finds a gem. I am reading the above book for one of my book clubs. The book is primarily about the author’s adventures as a pilot, but toward the end he talks about war and tries to answer questions such as the one above. I commend the book to all. Given the War in the Ukraine, and decades of wars in the Middle East the questions and answers are timely.
My father served in both WWII and Korea, but when he returned what happened there stayed there. He avoided any discussion about his service even though he was awarded two bronze stars. For what his children do not know. I do know that when Pearl Harbor occurred there was no question about enlisting. He went straight from playing in the Sugar Bowl to active duty. Was he willing to die for his country? I assume so, but I never asked.
Fortunately, I have never had to answer the question posed to our Sergeant. During Vietnam I had friends who did, and maybe that’s why the author’s question and answers interested me so much. The question would you give your life to save a loved one is slightly different than the question posed. It will take more than one meditation for me to answer “what is it?”
What about you?