Bringing World War II Home

Bringing War Home

(these are Canadian graves in The Netherlands. Each Christmas time, Dutch school children still put lights by each grave to honor the allied soldiers who liberated Holland May, 1945)

(some how a mom manages  a smile in the midst of starvation conditions. Women and Children’s Japanese concentration camp during World War II,  Dutch East Indies/Indonesia)

by Janneke Jobsis Brown

World War II
After the Great War that was to end all wars

World War II
A dividing line
The divide of hope, never again
The divide of time; world-wide we were all nearly destroyed
The divide of before, when it wasn’t known for sure

if
all of us future generations would be here
to write, say,
do, not do
what we do now

what we do now

All the same hopes, hearts, and mistakes
Understanding what we have come to understand
Not understanding what we will never understand
A burden a blessing
A worry
A joy
A going on
Let us talk, let us dance, let us join hands, let us be open about

The war of the past, and the war at home.
There are wars too for many of us after-war children
we never told our parents about
what did you never tell us?

I know of secrets, their power, worse than the original pain
Let us not have secrets, it has been too long now
Let us say loudly, “I want to know your story”
“I want to know the story of those already gone.”
Let us whisper softly again and again, “It was not your fault, it was not your fault, it was not yours,”
There is so much to say and so much that will still never be said, so we start.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

I hope that this poem, located with others’ on the War’s Family Page, expresses how it is that I come to relate the aftermath of World War II to family, meaning, faith, light and life today.

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