Brian37's picture
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70 years since. Now while the friend I am about to mention did not land on the beaches, he did serve in Europe after the fact and saw violence and combat. Back in the late 90s after I graduated College, I stayed in town and started going to a Unitarian Church. There I met a very gentle old man, who later died in 04. Ben was a WW2 vet, and was an atheist back then, and remained an atheist his entire life. Even when I went to visit him, in the hospitle days before he died, he was upbeat and thankful for our friendship.

I will be the first to say, I could not do what he did. The thought of violence or seeing it even from a young age has always terrified me. But I also know, and will always be thankful to know, there are many brave humans willing to do what he did.

There are atheists in foxholes. I love you Ben and I will never forget you!

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Only fools never know fear.

Only fools never know fear. I daresay everyone who fought and everyone who died in WW2 knew terror intimately. There were two major terrors in WW2. One was the terror of being conquered, the other of dying horribly (even people who don't fear death do fear dying horribly, to which I can attest).

The prime motivation for the allies and axis both for going to war was terror. Some people feared death more than being conquered, so they made effort to stay out of it. But everyone was terrified.

The people who fought in WW2 deserve to be remembered for their sacrifice, but there's no good reason to romanticise it, and no shame in seeing the truth. Atheists and theists, the axis and the allies; they all fought because they were scared. They weren't fearless warriors seeking glory, they were scared people (mostly children) fighting for everything they knew and loved against an evil enemy who would destroy it.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

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 I was never in a foxhole

 I was never in a foxhole but as an atheist I knew the only reason for going to church services was to get out of doing extra work back at camp.