On Monday, November 15th, our neighbor, a World War Two veteran, died in hospital of a brain hemorrhage. One day, he told me how it was his job to fish out the bodies of his fallen comrades out of the water.  He witnessed many horrific events and lived with these past events quietly. He was 86 when he died on November 15th 2010. A bachelor all his life, he depended on good neighbors to help him with daily tasks that he could not do by himself. He was a strong and independent man with a kind heart. Unfortunately, he didn’t remember those who helped him survive and function in  his civilian years…the good neighbors who were there for him when he needed them most…but that’s a subject for another photo essay and poem.  This photo essay is dedicated to all Veterans who have served our country. Lest We Forget the sacrifices that have been performed on our behalf.

Korean Buddhist Monk Doll with Poppy

Just a note the gray doll with the Poppy is a Korean Buddhist Doll. If you press it in the center it chants the 108 pre-recorded Buddhist mantras. I mention this because to most Westerners it looks like a Nazi Doll. The Swastika predates the meaning it assumed in the early 20th century with the rise of Hitler’s Nazi party. While living in South Korea I traveled to many Buddhist temples to talk with the Korean Monks. When I fist saw the symbol I was confused, and that was when I was taught the earlier meaning of the symbol. One of the explanations I received was that for Buddhism this emblem represents a perfect circle once it spins: hence enlightenment. I included this picture in the photo essay to commemorate all those who lost their lives serving in the Korean War. May peace reign.

For further reading and references concerning the swastika and its association with Eastern Religions please consult Wikipedia.


Historical use in the East

“The swastika is a historical sacred symbol in Indian religions. It rose to importance in Buddhism during the Mauryan Empire and in Hinduism with the decline of Buddhism in India during the Gupta Empire. With the spread of Buddhism, the Buddhist swastika reached Tibet and China.” Quoted from Wikipedia