Note: I don’t actually endorse war of any kind but I did sit down this weekend and watch the first of 5 discs of Ken Burns’ The Civil War and now I’m hooked. What an unbelievable documentary. If you haven’t checked it out yet, put it on your netflix queue or rent it and get educated.
And if you have a moment please read a little bit of this letter from a soldier writing to his wife before being killed at the Battle of Bull Run:
The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . .
But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .
Are you fucking kidding me? Did someone really write that? It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. Wow. Now go give your wife, girlfriend, mistress, and kids a hug.