The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

A View of War…

“Lest We Forget.”

Buddy helping a wounded soldier during World War I

Buddy helping a wounded soldier - World War I

Hon. George H Latimer of the Saturday Evening Post writes as follows in the wildly popular journal:

“The statesmen of the world pledged themselves to the end of war; the common people of all nations fought and died to end it. That was an open covenant openly made. Shall it be nullified in secret?  If one thousandth part of the brain power that is applied to planning for war, were applied to make it more ‘efficient,’ more deadly were applied to planning for peace, the thing would be done.

Today the world needs nothing so much as a course in a good memory system, a system whereby the mention of war would immediately bring up in the minds of speaker and listener a definite picture of a trench half filled with foul water, rotting corpses unburied in the field before it, or half buried in the ground underfoot, men stuck through like pigs, torn by shells, crying out in agony, men with gas seared lungs gasping for a last breath, bullets whinnying low and shells shrieking high overhead, and all over a stench of powder and gas, and putrefying human flesh.

If the mention of war clearly called up  this picture for every man, and he could see himself as the one in the trench, instead of the safe and warm stay-at-homes, there would be no more war. If the kings, the leaders, the men who get near enough to the battles to get their thrill and stay far enough away to feel safe, if the greasy ghouls who profiteer from death could see themselves in this trench there would be no more war. But it is precisely these men who cannot call up this picture.”

The great mass of our common humanity have been looking with unutterable longing for our statesmen to bring peace to the world – and they have been woefully disappointed. Later on history will blacken its pages with eternal disgrace to some men now in high authority.

The above newspaper article was published 4 March 1921 in the Florence Times. It is just as àpropos today, is it not?  Let’s do the math,:2011 minus 1921 equals 90 years. Add seven days and it is precise the length of time that has elapsed since this article. And, further, this article was published a couple of years after the War to End All Wars. So now you know how long  – the bare minimum – this has been going on. This bears the question of just how much longer the American citizens are going to allow it to continue. This is the question, and the answer is what I want to know.

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