Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Holland. A day special to our family as my maternal grandfather fought for the liberation of Holland in World War two. This year also marks his 90th birthday, which means before the age of twenty, he was fighting to protect others that he had never met, and most that he never would.
Both of my grandfathers fought in the war, and my great-grandparents before them in the First World War. Yet, WWII seems so much more prevalent in my life since it touched those I care about in so many ways. It’s also slightly ironic that the anniversary comes as I’m preparing to leave for England and France, two countries immensely impacted by the war in different ways.
Both of my grandfathers fought so that their children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren wouldn’t have to. So that we could live and travel and shop and eat and love and have babies and go on adventures.
70 years is a long time, but it’s apparently not long enough. The hatred that drove that war, that divided families, loved ones, friends, still exists. It exists “over there” where people continue to fight, continue to die, and it exists right here.
Imagine that then, those with special needs were deemed not good enough. It’s quite easy to do, really, because often those individuals, those fabulous people who bring light and love to so many, are still deemed not good enough.
My grandfathers saw things they never talked about. My grandmother lost her mum in the bombings. They survived and then they lived. They got married, and had babies, and traveled. They experienced things we could never imagine, never would want to.
They fought so we wouldn’t have to, but we’re still fighting. We’re fighting the hatred that drove a war that ended 70 years ago, but still runs through the veins of many.
Parenting shouldn’t be a fight, and our kids, our amazing, smart, talented, beautiful, generous, kind, loving kids shouldn’t have to fight to just be kids.
Thank you, for your fight then, and thank you to every single person who has fought since and will continue to fight because we just haven’t come far enough.