Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On the occasion of a friend's grim milestone



A war in one's lifetime brings much in the way of unpleasant news, but none so stark as the statistical enumeration of the lives spent to maintain its pace.

In this instance, it is my opinion that it would be somewhat presumptuous for a non-citizen to bemoan the loss of a foreign power's troops via the stratagem of castigating the profiteers and ideologues who manipulate them, albeit with the offered understanding that all war is a racket, and that a life expended in its brutal service is a life wastefully shortened of potential.

And thus what I have to offer is simple, and absent of sloganeering...The hope that all of America's fallen service personnel are given the full measure of respect due the honorable position that they have fulfilled in societies that ask so much and often, sadly, give back so little.

"Show me the manner in which a nation or a community cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender sympathies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals."
– William E. Gladstone.