Tuesday, March 08, 2005

War and Bleach

Greg Wallace says that this is Bleach's best record ever. (Another review here.)

I hope to find out soon enough.

I've been enjoying Bleach's music for many years. Though Bleach hasn't jumped on the "Let's Put Out a Praise and Worship Record!" bandwagon like so many others artists have done in the last decade, I think they've had a number of incredibly worshipful songs. (For an emo-geek-rock band anyway.) Their 1999 self-titled CD (their third) was much maligned, but it's always been in regular rotation in my CD player. "All That's Sweet," "All to You," and "Good" are outstanding expressions of worship -- the last two in particular could and should be Praise and Worship standards by now.

But I digress.

In searching for a review of the new CD, "Farewell Old Friends," I came across this interview from September of 2003, done upon the relase of their previous CD, "Astronomy." (Second favorite of mine.)

In the liner notes for "Astronomy," the band notes that the brother of band members Jared and Milam Byers, was killed in Fallujah in July of 2003. In the interview linked above, Jared and Milam share a bit about their brother, Captain Josh Byers, and his thoughts on our military actions in Iraq.

Do you remember the last time you spoke to Josh?

Milam: Yeah, it was April 2, the night before he flew to Iraq. He called all of us as a family to say goodbye. That was a hard thing. When your brother goes to war, all you can think about is, "Will I ever talk to him again?" He also wrote us every week or two, so we have letters that will just forever be special. My parents got a letter he wrote the day before he was killed. It's just amazing, because in the letter he talks about how our security is not in our circumstances but in God and a great faith-words that mean so much now, you know?

Obviously, Josh might still be alive today if not for the war in Iraq. Do you think his death was a necessary part of a necessary war?

Milam: Yes, because he believed it. For me to think any different would mean that he died in vain. Before he left for Iraq, he said, "The reasons I'm going is not the things you hear on CNN. It's not about oil, it's not about policing the world, it's not about weapons of mass destruction. It's about freedom. It's about us wanting to afford these innocent people a freedom that we Americans enjoy, and it's about people like Saddam not being able to bully the world around and kill innocent people anymore." That's what it was about. It wasn't any of that political propaganda bull that we're flooded with. It was about him wanting to free those people and genuinely caring for those people.

Jared: Josh was fighting to free those people and to free our country from terrorism. Josh believed in what he was doing, and I did too. I know why he was over there, and I know what he believed in. He felt it was a necessary cause, so I do too. I hate the war; nobody wants war. But I know that Josh believed he was there for a good cause.

Here is a military family who has lost a son and a brother. Anyone would understand if they reacted strongly against the war and against the administration that sent him there. But they don't. And this scenario is repeated countless times among countless military families. I'd like to think that I would continue to support our military presence in Iraq if such a tragedy would affect my family, but I fear that I might become bitter instead.

"Understand there are reasons beyond ours," goes a line from the title track of "Astronomy."

I don't know how they do it.

If "Farewell Old Friends" is, indeed, the final album from Bleach, I'm going to miss them. But these guys miss their brother every day.


Post a Comment

<< Home