I have a dire headache -- ibuprofen has taken the worst of the edge but it remains, dull any awful -- and I'm not dealing at all well with the eye thing.
Here's a little thought for the morning, in the aftermath of Veteran's Day:
"War loses a great deal of its romance after a soldier has seen his first battle. I have a more vivid recollection of the first than of the last one I was in. It is a classical maxim that it is sweet and becoming to die for one's country; but whoever has seen the horrors of a battlefield feels that it is far sweeter to live for it."
Pop quiz: who said that? Some WW I soldier-poet, leaning to pacifism in the aftermath, perhaps? A WW II journalist, traveling with the troops? A Korean War novelist?
Nope. John S. Mosby, writing in 1887 and reflecting on his Civil War experience as the commander of "Mosby's Raiders," what today would be called an unconventional warfare force, operating with considerable impunity behind Union lines in West Virgina. At the time, the Union called them "guerrillas," with roughly the same connotation then as "terrorist" has today. Their exploits read more like imaginative fiction bordering on farce than reality, with reports of rousing officers in their beds, intercepting payroll wagons and so on. (H. Beam Piper told them most entertainingly in Rebel Raider.) Mosby's words stand as a sobering reminder that warfare is not a romp; the bill does come due, payable in blood and death.
8 months ago