After reading Elie Wiesel’s, Night, I thought about what carried Elie through those terrible times in the concentration camps. Throughout the book, he wrote about his faith andhow it, for the most part, carried him through the events of the Holocaust. Sometimes, he questioned his faith, and sometimes it was what got him through the days.
I began to wonder if there is any relation to the current war in Iraq. I wondered if there are soldiers from the United States that share the same strength to get them through the war? Or, if it is something else, like their family, friends, or pride for their country?
I found a letter from a New England soldier who was recently killed in the war on his first day back from leave. His mother shared his letter, in which her son expressed why he was a soldier and where his source of strength came from. He wrote,
“I am not a robot. i am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the “war on terrorism.” i know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America’s sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.”
I thought that this part of this letter expressed his desire to serve in the military. This excerpt gave me a sense of purpose for this soldier, and that he truly beleived that he was there for a reason, and that is what got him through the days overseas at war.
He goes on to say that,
“I am a proud American. I believe that my country allows me to live my life more or less however I want to, and believe me, I have seen what the alternative of that looks like.”
Lastly, this part of his letter informs me that he is there fighting for a reason. If soldiers fighting in the Iraq War did not have solid reasons for being there, then they would feel lost, used and meaningless. Bringing this back to Night, I believe that Elie must have had some of those similar strengths to believe that he was going to survive this battle, even though he was a victim of the concentration camps. It was still important for him to have something to fight for.
Slain Beverly Soldier Explained Why He Served, October 17, 2008: http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/10/slain_beverly_s.html?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed5
Elie Weisel, Night