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Independence Day-2: I hear the cries of children And the other songs of war...

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

I woke up with the mournful words from Steven Stills' "Find the Cost of Freedom" playing in my mind...As I got out of bed, I started intoning them...and sang them as I drove from home to Hempstead Lake State Park for today's Tuesday Tai Chi class with friends...

"Find the cost of Freedom buried in the ground...

Mother Earth will swallow you...

Lay your body down..."

"How many deaths will it take...

...before we know that too many people have died..."?

Singer, poet and prophet Bob Dylan raises this question in "Blowin' in the Wind."

I had several ideas for this second in this Independence Day series. As I sat, asked for inspiration and followed some initial ideas...I kept coming back to this...

...Children as Victims of War

"I see all of Southeast Asia

I can see El Salvador

I hear the cries of children

And the other songs of war

It's like a mighty melody

That rings down from the sky

Standing here upon the moon

I watch it all roll by - all roll by"

--"Standing on the Moon" - Grateful Dead

"Children" - Sadly, they are also to be counted among the casualties of war...whether directly, as in their deaths...or, indirectly, in the deaths of their parents and other caregivers...Read on...

Is this your Dad or mine?

I used Molly's song in yesterday's "Lunar See..." post. As I listened again today, I posted these comments to her musical ode on the casualties of war and hate:

Thank you for this mournful warning about the effects of war and hate. I've used it in two posts - including one for today - American Independence Day. As I listened now, I heard the "I'd rather be with you..." as spoken by the victims of war to those they left behind. These victims are men, women and, YES, children. Also, hearing you - a woman - sing it amplifies the women first labored and birthed these now-dead lives into being. Jerry is also smiling down. Gratefully, a 75-year young Deadhead.

Ukraine's childrens' lost childhood...

The historical record is replete with records of men harming their fellow men...NOW, due to modern technology, we can actually view horrific images of carnage and hear first-hand stories from the victims - many of them children.

The old spiritual "Down by the Riverside" intones:

Yet, in the "Children of war" video and the following photos from it, we hear the children of Ukraine, though displaced from their regular classroom studies by the war, are learning field lessons in STUDYING WAR, such as how to safely handle munitions.

--a moving instrumental with accompanying images of the victims of war, including the young...and elderly...

includes these scenes...

Out of the mouths of children....


Let the video tell the follows these images...

The Children´s War Victims Monument

An academic sculptor professor Marie Uchytilová was deeply touched by the tragedy of the crime in Lidice, Czechoslovakia. In 1969 she decided to create bronze monument of Lidice children that should be also understood as A Monument of children’s war victims.

(see next link for more about this tragedy)

Lidice was a small Czech town located about 12 miles (20 km) from Prague. In June 1942, German forces annihilated Lidice. They razed the town to the ground and murdered or deported its residents. The annihilation of Lidice was an act of revenge for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, a prominent Nazi official.

For Further Reflection

--How children have become frontline targets in armed conflicts.

[from intro - lots more in the article]

From widespread killing, maiming, abduction and sexual violence to recruitment into armed groups and strikes on schools and hospitals, as well as essential water facilities – children living in conflict zones around the world continue to come under attack on a shocking scale.

To better monitor, prevent, and end these attacks, the United Nations Security Council has identified and condemned six grave violations against children in times of war:

Killing and maiming of children; recruitment or use of children in armed forces and armed groups; attacks on schools or hospitals; rape or other grave sexual violence; abduction of children; and denial of humanitarian access for children.

Armed forces and armed groups are required by international humanitarian law to take measures to protect civilians, including children, who are particularly vulnerable during times of war.

[from beginning of article]

In war, children suffer most...

Over 400 million children live in countries where there is war or other violent conflicts. Often forced to flee their homes in search of safety, many remain displaced for extended periods of time. Some are orphaned or separated from parents and caregivers.

Over half of all civilians killed by landmines and explosive remnants of war are children. Verified attacks on children have tripled since 2010.

UNICEF is meeting urgent needs of children impacted by wars in Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.

Recurring violence also endangers children in Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria, South Sudan and Sudan. Boko Haram, a violent Islamist insurgency, has terrorized communities around West Africa's Lake Chad Basin for years.

In all of these countries and regions, UNICEF is there, delivering lifesaving support.

Children are especially vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and trafficking during emergencies and armed conflicts. And as violence against children increases, perpetrators are rarely held accountable for the killing, maiming, sexual violence, abductions and armed recruitment of children, or for attacks on schools and hospitals.

1997-98 Research Associate, Music Dept., Univ. of California at Santa Cruz

David is my SME for all things Dead.

Check out this post from yesterday for more about this song:


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