Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Great War?

I started working on a poem about my family heritage today: my mother was from the deep south and my father is from the north. I decided to do some research about both regions for the poem, which is unusual for me. I usually just write the darn thing and it's over and done with. But, for some reason, I decided to approach this poem a little differently.

I came across a Civil War website ( with a sentence I found a bit disturbing. "The American Civil War was the greatest war in American history." HUH?!? The reason this disturbs me is because someone out there wrote this thinking war is great.

Today we have soldiers fighting a "war" in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have been there over 5 years, with no end in sight. Is this a "great" war?

Two Sides of War (All Wars)

"All wars are planned by older men
In council rooms apart,
Who call for greater armament
And map the battle chart.

But out along the shattered field
Where golden dreams turn gray,
How very young the faces were
Where all the dead men lay.

Portly and solemn in their pride,
The elders cast their vote
For this or that, or something else,
That sounds the martial note.

But where their sightless eyes stare out
Beyond life's vanished toys,
I've noticed nearly all the dead
Were hardly more than boys."

~Grantland Rice


Vicki Lane said...

We were talking about this at dinner tonight and decided that maybe WWII was at least a war the US fought that needed fighting.

Susan M. Bell said...

Yeah, I can agree with that. And I have read things by people from Iraq who think we should have gone in there in the 90's when we chased Hussein out of Kuwait. But this stuff that's going on now...well, that's another post I reckon.

Still don't understand the term "civil" war. Isn't that an oxymoron?