Written by Emilia Dass
Have you ever had a nightmare? Everyone has. But truly, there is one nightmare that is real and is affecting the lives of millions at this very moment. War. War is cruel. War is deadly. War is unforgiving. But most importantly, war has changed the life of every human being on this planet. I don’t mean to say that war is killing everyone right now, but even if the war in question happened hundreds of years ago, the tragedies of war affect who we are, where we come from and how we live our life. Whether it be a veteran scarred by the horrors of war or a young child whose family wouldn’t even exist had their great-grandmother’s first love not been killed in WW2, war is real.
In the past 20 years, over 800,000 people have been killed due to war all over the world. This outrageous figure takes into account the death of soldiers, civilians, humanitarian workers and more; however, even if a person was fighting on the ‘wrong side’ of the war, they didn’t deserve to die. The truth is that most people are lucky enough to be free of this curse, but with that freedom comes ignorance too. Those whose lives aren’t in constant peril don’t think about the child, lying in a gutter with a bullet in their side, crying even though no one will come. They don’t think about the need to cross tumultuous seas to leave their homeland. They don’t think about sending their children to a war they know they won’t survive. Yet these things happen. Out of those 800,000 deaths, 335,745 innocent civilians were brutally killed only because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Their deaths can’t be justified in any way.
As a young child, I went through a phase where I woke up every night, terrified by the thought of war. Every plane became a threat and every noise was an air raid siren. I dreamt of soldiers storming the city and battles being held in the local park. This was all around the same time that the Ukrainian war was often in the news and I still remember how it made me feel. Of course, I grew out of it, but the point is that the implications of war are all around us. One of my favourite books of all times is ‘The Hunger Games’, and one of the most dramatic moments in the trilogy was the bombing of District 13. The first time I read it, I woke up in the middle of the night, stuck in the nightmare I couldn’t escape. But it was all a figment of my imagination. If reading a book made me feel that afraid, how could anyone possibly put themselves in the shoes of someone who’s life is war? A 2017 study of 5826 US veterans revealed that 12.9% of them experienced severe PTSD. Their lives will forever be haunted by unspeakable tragedies.
You could say to me, war is peace: that without war, there would be no balance. Then why don’t you take the war to your country? Why should the poor helpless people stuck in war-struck zones have to live in constant agony and fear while you frolic around in your ‘peace’? War is death. War isn’t peace. War is inhumane. The rich, western countries may have peace between them because they all supposedly help those in war zones, but that doesn’t do any good. We must cease all violent conflict if we hope to ever live in a united world.
Today you are safe. Tomorrow you might not be. You will be found by war in one way or another. It isn’t right. If we are rid of war, our planet will be a better place. A utopia. A symbol of peace. A world where every person understands the significance of safety. Together, we must take action because in this ever adapting world, new dangers lurk at every turn. Every country in the world should have access to resources, free education, healthcare and a decent way of living. However, if war takes over, no one will be safe. No one.