Too Many Soldier Suicides Part 1: In Flanders Fields


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Too many US soldiers are attempting or carrying out suicide attempts; many succeed.

One reason for this is the tremendous ambivalence over current military actions. This is not like World War II, a so-called good war, although this phrase also causes many to wince.

Viktor Frankl, concentration-camp survivor, wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning that the most catastrophic stresses can be endured when there is a belief that one’s struggle is true, good, and just.

Before analyzing this sad situation, I would like to offer a poem written during World War I, honoring those who sacrificed their lives. When you come across a veteran who is offering red poppies, this is why these flowers have been distributed for nearly one-hundred years:

IN FLANDERS FIELDS
by Lieutenant Colonel John McRae, MD (1872-1918), Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


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