Editorial: A few thoughts for Vets Day

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 10, 2006

&8220;It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.&8221;

&8212; Aesop, Greek fable author

&8220;Good soldiers never pass up a chance to eat or sleep. They never know how much they&8217;ll be called on to do before the next chance.&8221;

&8212; Lois McMaster Bujold, U.S. science fiction author

&8220;Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.&8221;

&8212; Thomas Jefferson, third U.S. president

&8220;No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.&8221;

&8212; Samuel Johnson, English author and critic

&8220;Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.&8221;

&8212; Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet

&8220;I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.&8221;

&8212; Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. general and 34th president

&8220;It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.&8221;

&8212; Robert E. Lee, Confederate general

&8220;A professional soldier understands that war means killing people, war means maiming people, war means families left without fathers and mothers. All you have to do is hold your first dying soldier in your arms, and have that terribly futile feeling that his life is flowing out and you can&8217;t do anything about it. Then you understand the horror of war. Any soldier worth his salt should be antiwar. And still, there are things worth fighting for.&8221;

&8212; Norman H. Schwarzkopf, U.S. general

&8220;Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.&8221;

&8212; G.K. Chesterton, English author

&8220;When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.&8221;

&8212; George Washington, U.S.

general and first president

&8220;We&8217;re all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there&8217;s still hope. The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you&8217;re already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you&8217;ll be able to function as a soldier&8217;s supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it.&8221;

&8212; HBO&8217;s &8220;Band of Brothers,&8221; Episode 3

&8220;War does not determine who is right &8212; only who is left.&8221;

&8212; Bertrand Russell, British philosopher

&8220;Brave rifles, veterans, you have been baptized in fire and blood and have come out steel!&8221;

&8212; Winfield Scott, U.S. general