A soldier sings, “I have a wife I haven’t seen. Since lilacs bloomed in Saint-Hippolyte she always wears them in her hair. She lets some fall down everywhere. I can see her in the glowing light, dressing without a sound. I promised I’d be home all right but I gotta lay this body down. So, take this letter to my wife and tell her that I loved my life…”
This soldier remembers his wife and some things that are special about her but he’s’ gotta lay this body down,’ regardless. He remembers her with fondness but there’s a certain amount of resignation on his face.
This married soldier who promised his wife that he’d ‘be home’ offers us the opportunity to reflect on the state of the married Russian and Ukrainian soldiers currently engaged in war. Despite the expected loyalty to their commission the hearts of loving soldiers will always reserve a special place for their
wives. In that special place are stored the beautiful memories they have shared. Honour for country is important so is love for a beloved spouse but don’t ask the soldier which is greater between the two! Don’t ask him if he’d prefer defending his country to staying back and loving his wife? Love for country and love for spouse are both essential. As is a soldier that remembers his wife and children while on the battlefield. What kind of soldier is he on the battlefield who remembers his wife and children? What kinds of outcomes are seen on the battlefields when soldiers remember their wives and children?
Remembering his wife and children clearly shows the tender side of a soldier. A tender soldier? Sure, even though traces of that tenderness may seemingly disappear when the battle begins. Yet from this all- important quality of tenderness, we hope that persuasions may emerge that will pull and galvanize other forces necessary to put an end to the ongoing war.