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At the tomb of the unknown soldier:
Yes, we knew before posting this that the image was taken in September, that it was not from the winds of Sandy, but we posted it because it is like what was going on during Sandy.
Loyalty, duty, honor, respect.
The military metaphors of Paul and the military service of our best men and women can teach us much about the Christian life.
(Just for a bit of clarity: this photo is currently making the rounds, with the attached claim that it was taken during the current hurricane on the east coast. The unit that guards the Tomb confirmed that the photo is from September.)
Mark, I knew when I posted this that the image was not from Sandy but was taken in September, but it still depicts the steadfastness of their standing guard regardless of the weather … even in the kind of weather experienced in Sandy.
Vonnegut, as I read him, was advocating for realism not pacifism. He was a critic of our historically entrenched honor codes, romanticism, and memorials that more effectively perpetuate war than memorialize it, serving the war profiteers rather than those who fight or suffer in it. The former quotation is from Cat’s Cradle; here’s one from Slaughterhouse Five:
“You were just babies then! she said.
“What?” I said.
“You were just babies in the war – like the ones upstairs!”
I nodded that this was true. We had been foolish virgins in the war, right at the end of childhood.
“But you’re not going to write it that way, are you.” This wasn’t a question. It was an accusation.
“I – I don’t know,” I said.
“Well I know,” she said. “You’ll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you’ll be portrayed in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we’ll have a lot more of them. And they’ll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs.”