Yesterday we commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Manila which took place from February 3 to March 3, 1945. This month, in solidarity with older friends of mine who are still alive and have lived to tale the harrowing tale of Manila burning, I would like to take some time to really think about the implications of war–to think about the truths that are passed on to us and also interrogate our forgetfulness. As I type this, news of Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh of Jordan fills my feed. He has just been burnt to death in a cage by ISIS militants. Last week, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto was beheaded. Here in the Philippines, we lost a great deal in the Mamasapano incident. My thoughts are with their families–but I am also alarmed as an educator. I ask myself where our ideas have taken us and I also want to know why, despite being better informed, our ideas about war and violence have not changed very much? Why have we allowed fear to get the better of us–and if we do choose peace, why do I sense that we are afraid still? Apt reflections for Valentine’s day, too. I’m reminded of Rilke who in his 7th letter to young Kappus writes: “It is also good to love: because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.” Love is difficult. Peace is difficult. But I can only trust what is difficult.