Chief among our gains must be reckoned this possibility of choice, the recognition of many possible ways of life, where other civilizations give a satisfactory outlet to only one temperamental type, be he mystic or soldier, businessman or artist, a civilization in which there are many standards offers a possibility of satisfactory adjustment to individuals of many different temperamental types, of diverse gifts, and varying interests.
God of our fathers, who by land and sea have ever lead us to victory, please continue your inspiring guidance in this the greatest of all conflicts. Strengthen my soul so that the weakening instinct of self-preservation, which besets all of us in battle, shall not blind me to my duty to my own manhood, to the glory of my calling, and to my responsibility to my fellow soldiers. Grant to our armed forces that disciplined valor and mutual confidence which insures success in war. Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting, but rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived. If it be my lot to die, let me do so with courage and honor in a manner which will bring the greatest harm to the enemy, and please, oh Lord, protect and guide those I shall leave behind. Give us the victory, Lord.
We discovered in that depressing, hellish place where death was our constant companion that we loved each other. We killed for each other, we died for each other and we wept for each other. And in time we came to love each other as brothers. In battle our world shrank to the man on our left and the man on our right and the enemy all around. We held each other's lives in our hands and we learned to share our fears, our hopes, our dreams as readily as we shared what little else good came our way. We were the children of the 1950's and John F. Kennedy's young stalwarts of the early 1960's. He told the world that Americans would go anywhere, pay any price, bear any burden in the defense of freedom. We were the down payment on that costly contract, but the man who signed it was not there when we fulfilled his promise. John F. Kennedy waited for us on a hill in Arlington National Cemetery, and in time, by the thousands, we came to fill those slopes with our white marble markers and to ask on the murmur of the wind if that was truly the future he had envisioned for us. General Hal Moore (We Were Soldiers)
One soldier picked up a dead Argentine, supported the corpse's weight underneath his arm, put a cigarette in the dead man's mouth, then one in his own. He then held a lighter under the corpse's cigarette and his friend took a photograph. They both laughed. I also laughed.This was foolish ? smoking can kill.
Yea ! by your works are ye justified--toil unrelieved ;Manifold labours, co-ordinate each to the sending achieved ;Discipline, not of the feet but the soul, unremitting, unfeigned ;Tortures unholy by flame and by maiming, known, faced, and disdained ; Courage that sunsOnly foolhardiness ; even by these, are ye worthy of your guns.
We came to realise - first with astonishment, then bitterness, and finally with indifference - that intellect apparently wasn't the most important thing...not ideas, but the system; not freedom, but drill. We had joined up with enthusiasm and with good will; but they did everything to knock that out of us.