Saying “thank you” ain’t nearly enough, I’m sure we agree, but it’s a start! Those who know war, as they say, hate war. It’s not a thing of glory, it’s a thing of mud and blood.
Service is not a thing given, in war, it’s a thing taken. Service is to be honored, but let us never forget that war is too often foisted upon those who willing to serve by old, angry cowards.
“There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all Hell.” ~ General Sherman
“A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.” ~ Tim O’Brien
My 83 year old grandmother on my family watching a war movie…
“Why do you people watch these movies…As a young girl I saw war. It is not entertaining. I watched Men, women, children, friends and family die in front of me, shot, blown up, burnt…starved. I was 13 when the war started, it ended when I was 17, I lost my teenage years and even after the war I worked in the factories while your grandfather worked in the mines. I watched my father get dragged away by Nazis, a man shot in the head for helping my sister carry a bag of coal. I was forced to scrape ice off stairs in -40c weather (Leningrad Russia) and woke up to 17 men hanging from trees behind my home, we smuggled potato skins & boiled bark to survive. You are lucky you weren’t born into a world like that. This generation is somewhat spoiled, you don’t realize what can happen…you don’t know this can become reality…I love you and never wish upon you to see real war, but if you do you will understand what I’m talking about…
Can we watch something more pleasant? … Maybe something romantic…with good music?”
I’m 17 and I love war games and movies. This really hit me hard, my Grandmother is always so innocent, yet she opened up to me like this. She told me the war stories, but this is the first time I realized how hard it hit her life and how lucky we truly are…
God forbid she saw me play a video game.
The bombing of Dresden:
It is not possible to describe! Explosion after explosion. It was beyond belief, worse than the blackest nightmare. So many people were horribly burnt and injured. It became more and more difficult to breathe …
… fire everywhere, everywhere fire, and all the time the hot wind of the firestorm threw people back into the burning houses they were trying to escape from.
~ Lothar Metzger, survivor.
Otto von Bismarck, who started (and won) 3 wars:
“Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war”
For more: “a part in World at War – Ep21 Nemesis: Germany which covers the Dresden bombings..
This series is a landmark of British television, and deserves every bit of credit.. It cost the equivalent of £11.5M to make, and has interviews with both alied and axis high command… An incredible story from start to finish, if you have the patience…”
Furthermore, War is (as expensive as ) hell. Watch this Amazing video, and Imagine what we could do with such money to celebrate and strengthen peace! Improve education, housing, healthcare, fund needful science, bike paths, infrastructure, help farmers, fight crime…you name it.
The Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety .The USA spends more money on its military than the next eight nations combined.with 200,000 troops stationed in over 144 countries (2015) (youtu.be)
And, of course, General Sherman, re the Civil War:
“I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.” ~ William Tecumseh Sherman
From his address to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy (19 June 1879);
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!
And another speech:
You people of the South don’t know what you are doing. This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don’t know what you’re talking about. War is a terrible thing! You mistake, too, the people of the North. They are a peaceable people but an earnest people, and they will fight, too. They are not going to let this country be destroyed without a mighty effort to save it… Besides, where are your men and appliances of war to contend against them? The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors. You are bound to fail. Only in your spirit and determination are you prepared for war. In all else you are totally unprepared, with a bad cause to start with. At first you will make headway, but as your limited resources begin to fail, shut out from the markets of Europe as you will be, your cause will begin to wane. If your people will but stop and think, they must see in the end that you will surely fail.
More, via Reddit, with links to the Redditors: