Sunday, May 31, 2015

'War's never a winning thing, Charlie'

In Ray Bradbury's immortal tribute to the Summer of 1928, Dandelion Wine, the boys encounter Col. Freeleigh, a veteran of the Civil War who, when asked which side he fought for, the winning or losing side, claims he doesn't remember.

"No," said the old man, deep under. "I don't remember anyone winning anywhere any time. War's never a winning thing, Charlie. You just lose all the time, and the one who loses last asks for terms. All I remember is a lot of losing and sadness and nothing good but the end of it. The end of it, Charles, that was a winning all to itself, having nothing to do with guns. But I don't suppose that's the kind of victory you boys mean for me to talk on."

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