Saturday, July 4, 2009

Longest war in US History

On our recent trip, we visited Plymouth, WI- Brain's family homestead, so to speak. Besides enjoying the Mullet River that meanders through town and the cute main drag, we visited a park with an individual memorial to each US war- a boulder with the war's name, dates, and the flag of that time period. With the exception of the Cold War, the "Middle East Conflicts" represent the longest-running war in our nation's history- and still with no end date. Now, I've watched Braveheart and Lord of the Rings, and any number of similar movies; I don't enjoy battle scenes, but I understand why they are there: the protagonists are bravely protecting their precious ways of life and homelands at all costs. I boast Irish, German, and Viking blood. I understand that sometimes war is an unfortunate necessity in the sinful and illogical world in which we live: it is sometimes necessary in order to protect our freedoms and those of others with whom we share this planet. I have pride in our American military who have sacrificed to maintain those freedoms.

However, for whatever reason, I had brought along Kurt Vonnegut's excellent Slaughterhouse Five as light reading on this particular trip: a book that I had tried to read in the past and just not engaged with, but giving it another chance was the right choice. It is a vivid account of the horrors and the ludicrosity of war. Read it if you get the chance.

Support our troops: ideally by welcoming them all home soon.


Anonymous said...

Ah, our history, and how we forget it (or never learned in the first place).
Read my latest post, Riverotter. I think you will like it. I thought of you when I was writing it.

Erik Helm said...

Good topic for independence day.
A war without end, and a country and people asleep. We have come a long way since the revolution. Of course, we stopped declaring actual 'war' by act of congress after WWII, all that debate was a bit too messy. Much easier to just kill by executive order. Good thing the poor adolescents of America have a choice, the Army or Walmart..
or, perhaps in the end, they really are the same thing.