All We Need of Hell

203461_1043105893_7925013_n_biggerby Joshua Converse05 Jul 2013

Here’s what I know about war:
I know the soldiers who fight in wars rarely start them
and good men are invariably
lost in the wreckage.
I know evil men should be fought
but a trigger squeeze can’t really put an end to evil.
I know the enemy isn’t always the enemy
or rather, the poor dupe they conscripted isn’t to blame for his country’s troubles. His only fault is in staying to surrender or die.
I know truth is, as they say, the first casualty of war
and there comes to be something (nothing) casual about a casualty.
I know the sound of crashing aircraft, of men on the oper
ating table screaming.
I know the calm of the desert.
I know libraries burn. Museums crumble. Children die. Fathers. Mothers. I know fear rises like a storm and swallows nations whole. I know what it is to hate. I know. I know. I know. I know.
I know grief. And stand as a witness of loss.