Many years have passed since then, but in our world the war has never stopped. We have always fought, without respite. Sometimes in very distant lands, other times in too close lands, like this one that broke out on February 24, 2022, in Ukraine. Pope John XXIII, in 1963, with the encyclical “Pacem in Terris” (peace on earth) wanted to address “All men of good will” so that “all Nations, all political communities” would seek dialogue and negotiation, to “find what unites and not what divides “. He raised his Holy Word to recall the whole world to the irreplaceable value of peace. Perhaps only when we have truly lost it, the peace, we do realize how fundamental it is for the life of each of us. Unfortunately, there is no constant education that makes individuals more aware of the meaning and value of life. If this awareness really existed, many problems that arise in numerous contexts and situations, could really be overcome.
I knew the first and second world wars through the measured words of those who suffered to remember. My grandparents, my mother, my uncles had really experienced the war, I through their heartfelt and narrow stories, to which I had to add numerous readings to know more. And with the naive eyes of a child I relived that horror.
On the roads of our world there is one of the most monstrous wars of which our society is a victim: every year, 1.3 million people die in the world, mostly young people, due to a road crash. Of course, seeing men, women, children, innocent creatures slaughtered by bombs, or survivors with permanent injuries, and bridges, railways, aqueducts, power plants, cities razed to the ground, with a destructive ferocity towards everyone and everything, just takes away the soul. But how many tragedies, a continuum, without respite. Nobody, yes, nobody can feel innocent, not even me. However, as long as my health sustains me, I will continue to believe, with firmness and determination, that everything is still possible.
And with the words of Pope John, I would really like to address those “men of good will” so that, all together, we can finally build, without ifs and buts, a future of true peace for our children and for those who will come after us, because nothing in the world is worth more than the life of a human being. Nothing.
By Doretta Boretti, on behalf of FEVR – 8 March 2022.