Monologue for "The Good War" Project

— Urmas Kaldveer

[Pictures: Day before the escape, group shot of the "kids"]


What About the Children? You know for every soldier killed in battle 10 civilians are cut down in the crossfire.

Doesn't need to be bombs or bullets, and I got enough of those. Almost every night of my first two years the night was filled with the sound of air raid sirens and bombs.

I was woken from my sleep and rushed to the bomb shelter, surrounded by the organized denial of the adults not to scream to the heavens, "stop this madness"!

Oh we lost some folks. My dad was deported to Siberia and I did not meet him until I was 35 years old. A good man, I wonder what it may have been like.....uh?

His father and brother didn't make it. Killed in the concentration camps you know. His brother Juri was a pianist, loved jazz.....oh well.

What did all this do to the child within me? and the millions of children born and bred in the midst of madness beyond what anyone can describe who hasn't been there.

Am I bitter? Goddamn rights I'm bitter. It left me with deep, dark fears. I'm almost 58, on the 29th as a matter of fact, and I am just beginning to understand what all that meant. Every time I see or hear of yet another war I feel the pain of the children.

Look in the eyes, window to the soul you know. I can't, I begin to cry and I feel hollow inside.

We escaped from the horror in a small boat, crossing the Baltic Sea in three days. My mother told me just recently that the one time she let go of me to urinate off the side, I let out a scream that she can still hear echoing in her soul, she's 87.

I was afraid of the sea ever since. Yet I kept going back to it. Searching it as thought for a monster.

I found it two years ago at the helm of an 84 foot schooner 10 days out of San Francisco on route to Hawaii.

It was a moonless night and I had just come on "dog watch" when a mini-gale blew up. We had 4000 sq ft of canvas up and the wind was gusting at 55 knots, with 12-15 ft seas.

I was real scared. As I looked into that fury I was back on the boat across the Baltic and I saw as an adult the monster. It wasn't the sea....... it was the fury of war.

I'm not afraid of the sea anymore, but I know that the monster is alive and well, tearing into the souls of children all over the world.

There's only one way to stop the monster you know.