Posted by: gdevi | March 25, 2012

The saddest place on earth

The saddest place on earth. Sad and hopeless.

What a sad story. The Things They Carried must be made compulsory reading for all soldiers. But it never will be.

“Friends, that war [ Vietnam ] began in earnest a quarter of a century ago; and surely the statute of limitations has been reached. . . . . The final lesson of Vietnam is that no great nation can long afford to be sundered by a memory.” President George W. Bush, Inauguration speech, 1989.

“After the chopper took Lavender away, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross led his men into the village of Than Khe. They burned everything. They shot chickens and dogs, they trashed the village well, they called in artillery and watched the wreckage, then they marched for several hours through the hot afternoon, and then at dusk, while Kiowa explained how Lavender died, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross found himself trembling.

He tried not to cry. With his entrenching tool, which weighed five pounds, he began digging a hole in the earth.” (Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried, 1990)

Sad places closer to home.

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