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A Matter Of Honor

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( my traditional article    on the anniversary of   June 22 1941)

Glory is destroyed   only by dishonor

A Turkish Saying

The   judgment of the   fallen is as strong

As that of living, let thus    stay until

My final day comes, in my worthy soul

The thunder of those cannons celebrating

  Great Victory and Glorifying   Farewell

A. Tvardovski, 1948

It dawns   on me that I had   been writing these traditional articles   for at least 6 years or so   with not that many comments. I think that one of the reasons for   lack thereof is   the general   consideration that the topic is irrelevant to the   current events.   It is   21st Century after all;   nuclear era, aerial bombardments, drones, climate changes,   atrocities and shocks and awes" WWII   is now something which happened so long ago. Ok, we all recognize the Jews and their suffering, we adopted them into out framework of     the    "overwhelming love', we have the   State of Israel for which we pay and   we have all those Holocaust museums; what else do   you want?   Who cares   about who won that war?   We here in the US and Western civilization   once and for all consider that wars are bad anyway.   As such   in that war we reluctantly had to engage our   German brethren gone   awry, reluctantly had to   bomb their cities to oblivion, reluctantly but    firmly   had to show our Japanese    competitors (that's the word- MS) that   we could   annihilate two of their cities   in one second   and then we got the GI Bill for it which   helped us build a middle class, the cornerstone of our current existence. So we won, OK?   If you, Mark   Sashine   somehow disagree with that, we here in this   free country can tolerate your opinion but it is only an opinion and as such I love you, you love me- let's go have a beer and forget about all those   things. There are people in this country who   know   better, all those historians   and 99% of them in unison proclaim that   we won that war   because we were the best, the freest and the most democratic   people. Our German brothers are now   our friends and   that is how it is supposed to be.   Eat your checkers, Mr. Sashine.

Hm..

How about   I   follow this   route and write something    as follows:

(it is actually a   part of my real opinion, sorry- MS)

".. It is unbelievable    that right now, in the 21st Century we still have all those US Southerners whining about   the "Northern Invasion' of 1861. It had been defined, lock, stock and barrel   by numerous authoritative historians that   the Southern   rebellion was the    doomed one- it was against the times. It was against the free market, the competition (in that case   free trade   of cotton),   against the associated   necessity of the dynamic and reasonably educated workforce ( slavery was not   just immoral; it was outdated), that   the pig- headedness   of the   Southern leadership was not only the cause of the war but also the cause of    the defeat, that usage of the Constitutional framework to instill the slavery cause as Southerners   did,   buried them alive and that the only people to blame for the devastation of the South are   Jefferson Davis and his cronies.   Lincoln and his people maybe   were not   that   gentlemanly but they surely were smarter,   more educated, more patriotic and just better as people than the    folks in Richmond and   yes, the Colorado miners and Irish conscripts were better people than Georgia aristocrats and   Texas   rowdy cowboys. Sorry, folks,   eat your checkers and   lower your stupid   Confederate   pieces of cloth- you only have to blame your ancestors for what happened"'

How about them apples? Anything wrong   in   my diatribe above?

Didn't I mention that   the above is only a part of my real opinion?   So what is   it? The whole opinion of mine is   based   on the perception that we take from history not ashes, but fire ( a statement attributed to Jean Jourice, the French socialist, killed in 1918 for his pacifism). Such grandiose event as the   US Civil War cannot be assessed   with chromium blood- narrative. If you want to touch   that fire you should be prepared to be   burned. Burn your hand and you will see the light; the gallantry of Texas and the MA colored Volunteers storming Fort Wagner, the   Pickett's   charge   and   the feat of colonel Chamberlain, the Merrimac fight and   the Monitor fate, the Bull     Run shame and the Gettysburg resolve, the faces of Robert Lee and   Ulysses Grant, the   sorrow of Lincoln   and the ruthlessness of   Judas Benjamin- all that deadly symphony of war which gave birth to the new, powerful and qualitatively different state. The cannonade   of the war was the prelude for     the   roar of the railways. New was replacing   old but   also embracing the best of it; the courage, the gallantry, the   stubbornness and   power of the Southern gentry had become a   part of all the nation and   in 1960s during the Civil liberties'   events the black   South   emerged with the same qualities their    white predecessors   exhibited in 1860s. That's the proper way to see that- through honorable   honesty. Is that too much to ask?

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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.


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 that traditions are good  sometimes. I ... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 10:09:14 AM
  Sir,  The good people many of us here ... by Ad Du on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 1:59:21 PM
It was not  communists were dignified. The pe... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 3:30:54 PM
"The Unknown War" is a great series on Russia in W... by Mike Preston on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 2:09:18 PM
 And  that's the real question. Also, I ... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 3:34:01 PM
 Sir,  Thank you for your reply.  Y... by Ad Du on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 5:54:52 PM
I don't know why people are not incandescent in th... by Mike Preston on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 7:00:01 PM
but I meant  the fire in a more  symboli... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012 at 7:39:00 PM