You might think it's just a long wall with a bunch of names on it. But standing there, realizing that those names all represented somebody's loved one killed violently, it's hard not to be emotional. I was particularly moved when I considered that most of the young men who died in that war were about the same age as the boys who were then with me on the mission trip. "Were we at war today," I remember thinking, "None of these boys would likely be with us on this trip. And some of them might be dead."
As a Christian, my thoughts on war are anything but vague. War may at times be necessary, but it is always sinful. The necessity of wars only speaks to the mess we humans have made of this world. I now have a nephew and several former youth group members who are actively involved in the conflict in Iraq and every day I wonder "How much more? When will we end our desire for violence as a way to solve problems? When we will stop sending our young children off to fight and die? How can we, those who devote our ministry to caring for our youth and showing them Jesus' way of peace, love, and reconciliation, remain silent on this issue?"