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War Sucks

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20060405 | 06:28 pm

I am guessing dad is a war vet since the front of the marching line was reserved for “veterans for peace” I have received comments from quite a few people that find it inappropriate for parents to subject their children to protest because they believe children have no idea what is going on and what it means. So far 100% of the people that have written me about the sour taste it leaves in their mouth have no children themselves. I am of the opinion that parents teach their children about the things they believe in, like religion and their fundamental beliefs. The biggest reason people give me for it being wrong is that they believe children need to form their own beliefs. I was born Catholic and brought up Fundamentalist Christian or “Born Again”. Today I have a completely different belief system even though my mother taught me what she believed. Children are smarter then we give them credit for. I think we can all agree that they are fearful about their future and holding a sign may be one way of keeping hope. One more thing I’d like to bring up is that there are children carrying and using guns around the world to fight, kill, and die for what they are told too. If you are so worried about children, I’d start with the gun toting tots, not the sign holding ones. View larger photo at deviantART or Flickr.

Edit After posting this photo I received an email from the father in this photo and I'd like to post what he wrote to me...

I am not a war vet, my uncle was a marine & my cousin was brown water navy- both in Vietnam, the latter died there. I’ve worked with northwest veterans for peace since the elder bush's war in Iraq. I am concerned with veteran’s issues, though not a vet. Twenty-five years ago a friend, a Vietnam combat vet, convinced me not to join the army just shy of completing the enlistment process. I remain grateful to him to this day. My friends in NWVP invited me to march with them on the 19th, which is why we were where we were.

As regards my son. He was there because he asked to go with me, he wound up on my shoulders because he wanted to carry a sign & I was to help carry the NWVP banner. I had promised him that he could ride my shoulders part of the way anyway so he could see- this was the first time he had gone to an anti war march. You are absolutely correct that children are smarter than many give them credit for being. Your statement rings true; frequently those without children underestimate them the most. My 7 year old wanted to express his feelings about the war. While it is obvious that my opinions are bound to color his to some degree, he made the choices to go & to carry a sign & was profoundly moved by the experience. Please feel free to share this info as regards the photo.


War Sucks

Photo by Danny Hammontree

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Comments {22}

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 06:56 pm (UTC)
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i'm with you too ;) thank you...

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(no subject)

from: ex_crissy
date: 20060405 10:38 pm (UTC)
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I agree with you, however I still don't think that the kids holding the signs have strong (or even weak) opinions about the issue. I give them all the credit in the world, but I think when daddy says "here billy, hold this" they would hold anything. I don't think that snapping a photo of a kid holding a sign holds anymore meaning in most cases than that of a kid holding a sign.

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 06:57 pm (UTC)
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but you do know it hits harder ;)

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Eva / חוה

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from: bookoholic
date: 20060405 11:58 pm (UTC)
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Funny how people only object to you teching your kids your values if it's something that said person disagrees with....

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 06:58 pm (UTC)
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completely... and everyone has a diffrent opinion ;)

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Jinx

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from: crystalforest
date: 20060406 01:27 am (UTC)
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I wanted to coment on Deviant Art, but it won't let me, I am only a lurker there. I enjoy your images immensely, even though quite a few make me cry.
I completely agree with you on the aspect of children growing up with their parent's beliefs. They need an example, either to follow or go against, but without a boundary or starting point they are lost.
I have a child and I stand up for everything I believe in and I encourage him to do the same. I am showing him that even at his age and as small as he is, he can make a difference. When he gets older, he can choose his own battles, but at least he will know where to start.
Thank you for sharing your images. I wish you the best of luck.

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 07:07 pm (UTC)
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Thank you so much for lurking, now if i could only get you to stalk me too ;)

i guess what you and i are trying to say is that you have to teach and expose children to the world in order for them to grow. what i am also saying is that in the end all that matters is that you love and teach your children because they will only develop their own ideas. we just have to hope they choose ideas that make them better people.

i believe war is bad and that using your brain not weapons is the right way. this is what i'll teach my children. i do hope they come to the same conclusion ;)

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Jinx

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from: crystalforest
date: 20060412 07:38 pm (UTC)
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You definitely have to expose them to the world. You also have to teach them something, or the world will be more than happy to teach them for you. Chances are, if the world teaches them, the result isn't pretty.
Parents are there to support, guide and provide an example. I hope every child makes a choice that will make them a better person and a better citizen. I'm really bothered by the type of attention our younger people get, no wonder so many of them are disrespectful. No one ever told them disrespect was wrong.
But I try to do my best with providing an example and in the ned, I hope it matters.
I always tell my son war is war, in the end, no one wins.
Stalk you? *giggles* I probably should stalk you. I'm always reading what you post and often I have given the link to your journal to friends, so they could see how beautiful your photography is too.
Be careful what you wish for....*grins*

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 07:47 pm (UTC)
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I sometimes try and explain to people how having a child completely changed me and the way I view the world. My life is now split into two. There is the before child part and the after child part. Having a child is a great gift :)


The only downside of you stalking me is that I fear you'd be very disappointed ;)

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Jinx

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from: crystalforest
date: 20060412 08:00 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure if having a child changed how I view the world. I was raised Celtic Shaman, so that kinda comes with a sense of social responsibility and higher calling. I have the things I do with him and the things I do without him, but I guess that's about it.
I'm a lot more overprotective than I thought I would be, but that has to do more with past incidents than anything else.
He is definitely my gift. I was told I could never have children and when I was three months pregnant with him I was told he had died in utero, luckily I didn't listen. *grins*
Awww...I added you anyhow. I thought about it, if I ever decide to cut DA from my friends list, I won't see your posts, so I am just making sure I can keep up.
Besides, one day I might want to be a real photographer again, so having the inspiration at my fingertips is nice. In the days of everyone and their grandma having a digital camera, there are few who are truly *artists* without photoshop. *grins*

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 08:30 pm (UTC)
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i'd love to see you get back into photography! i have added you too ;) now we can talk all the time...

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Jinx

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from: crystalforest
date: 20060412 08:48 pm (UTC)
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Yeah...we'll see about the photography. I worked the PMA show about a month back and that *really* got me going. Since then I have also had to go through all my old slides and kick myself for not keeping up with it. So many of my pictures were just naturally well composed and emotionally evocative.
This is a link to a very small portion of my old portfolio -
http://www.netsnapshot.com/pcw/pickalbum?AyriaBlue
Now that I have started going through my slides again, as soon as I get them on a digital format, I will have images galore up. Photomax is doing 2G of hosting for free too (or they were), so I will be putting my public portfolio there soon instead - http://gosee.myphotomaxusa.com/
*giggles* I look forward to chatting with you. We have so much in common. Too bad I deleted all my entries prior to June. I'm sure you would have loved my rants on working in Emergency Services. *grins*

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 08:54 pm (UTC)
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those are great! you really need to get back into it!


what do you do in Emergency Services?

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Jinx

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from: crystalforest
date: 20060412 08:59 pm (UTC)
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Right now, nothing but volunteer (something I have done for about 9 years now..lol). But a couple of years ago I worked contract as a Terrorism Analyst for the SHSAS project. It really opened my eyes as to how agencies just don't communicate as well as they should.
I will spare you now on that one. I'm sure you already know more than I can tell you anyhow. *grins*
Let's just say I was a female, under 30, coming in and telling these guys what to do in North Florida.
I think they spent most of the time there trying to figure out how the heck I got out of the kitchen.
*giggles*

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Jinx

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from: crystalforest
date: 20060412 09:00 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the photography compliment! I'm bidding on a new digital Canon as we speak, so keep your fingers crossed. *grins*

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 09:01 pm (UTC)
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oh... i do hope you get it :)

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Ivy

(no subject)

from: coolest_mommy
date: 20060406 01:28 am (UTC)
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Seeing that child it looks around Ricky's age

Ricky is 7 and having to go through a deployment leave without dad he began to be very curious and watched the news with me, and he will ask me questions every time.

He became very curious about sept 11th, and I watched flight 93 with him on tv when they aired it. He cried

He goes "Mom I can't believe people will do that to us"

I hate Terrorist! I want them to all go away and have dad stop going there along with other americans

Then he'll say, When I'm older if this hasn't stopped I want to be a Marine so my children can live free like me

I don't want to live my life afraid of them ruining my future

believe it or not

even if we dont teach them about it they will see it with their very own eyes because unfornately in our lives now there is a war going on that even a 3 yr old knows about it

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 07:16 pm (UTC)
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"Then he'll say, When I'm older if this hasn't stopped I want to be a Marine so my children can live free like me"


i think it is also wise to show your children that violence is not the road to peace or freedom. you can not create peace by killing your opposition, you much work things out in a non violent way. i know this all seems very difficult and the biggest problem we have it that we so seldom take this harder path. it is so easy to kill especially when you are the more powerful force. it is always the hardest path that yields the most positive results. these are the things we most need to teach our children.

when our children don't know this path they are destine to kill and die. knowing there are other options allows so many other possibilities.

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Cubmaster General

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from: cnjosephyne
date: 20060406 01:56 pm (UTC)
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my .02:

The child may not know...or understand.. but i think when it comes to the subject of war, THIS war... is a very important symbol to see a child here holding a sign that says NO WAR.. its important to remember that there are moms and dad in another country wishing someone could see THIER child, that they love as much as we love ours, holding a sign saying Please Dont Bomb my Village... I Want to Grow Up.

I wont rant about the war, but I will say that its important to remember that there are people involved in this war... people who love there families, husbands, children, country and god as much as we do regardless of cultural differences... and without those little tykes there to remind us of innocense, unconditional love, and tolerance... i think many people wouldnt even have them cross thier minds.

Yes im a parent, cnJ

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 07:21 pm (UTC)
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yes you are a parent :)


You nailed it when you said the children remind us about the bigger picture and that is why seeing them with the signs is so hard hitting... some people don't want to be reminded, and that is why it bothers them so much...

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snugglepunk

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from: snugglepunk
date: 20060408 07:26 pm (UTC)
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Id like to state for the record that I have no children of my own, however i have been a substitute teacher, day care attendant, or otherwise involved in caring for and supervising children for the past 6 years so maybe that gives me a little bit of credability here.
when you said that children are smarter than we give them credit you hit the nail on the head.
i remember being a kid, as im only 23 years old and arguably still one myself, and being talked down too by parents and teachers and adults in general.
ask any child a question about whats going on in the world today... they have ears, they hear the news programs their parents watch from the other room, they over hear the conversations adults have with one another, things do not go unheard and based on the information they receive about whats going on they form an opinion just like any adult would.
the people who are crying that "the children dont understand" dont understand children to begin with.
it sucked being a kid for me, in the 90s every kid was diagnosed with a.d.d. and every one said id either die of aids or gang violence before i reached my 20s, and eventually saddam hussein would kill us all with chemical weapons... i cant immagine what its like for kids today and im really disgusted at most of the people who are doing things "for our children" for not realising what their doing TO our children.

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Danny Hammontree

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from: dannyhammontree
date: 20060412 07:22 pm (UTC)
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thank you... you are very wise :)

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