Monday, February 16, 2009

War Is Hell

For the last few weeks I have been feeling like a young infantry soldier that realizes only through the grizzly sights and acts of battle that the war so eager to be fought was far too horrific to witness, let alone desire. And just like in war there are far too many casualties to justify any semblance of righteousness for finding yourself on the "winning" side. Trust me, we will all pay reparations for this. There are statues of irony and sorrow in so many places that it is hard to imagine things ever resembling the normalcy many of us took for granted. I know things will improve and it will simply take the great revolver of time - but I am impatient. I am impatient in hearing those that feel the need to be righteous and lecture the oblivious, the ignorant or even the choir. I am impatient in those that feel the need to self-promote even in the face of such national and world crisis. I am impatient with human nature and all our inherent shortcomings. I am impatient with myself and all the irony of circumstance. But most of all I am impatient with the process - in realizing we have only started our collective journey down this broken road to our uncertain tomorrow.

"Cadets of the graduating class - Boys, I’ve been where you are now and I know just how you feel. It’s entirely natural that there should beat in the breast of every one of you a hope and desire that some day you can use the skill you have acquired here.

Suppress it! You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is hell!" - General William Tecumseh Sherman addressing the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy - 19 June 1879

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