Sunday, February 25, 2007

Farewell, For Now

Writers worldwide eagerly herald the creation of about 175,000 new blogs each passing day. With these new literary births, a smaller number simultaneously fades less dramatically into oblivion. As recent readers know, I have been considering adding this blog to the count of the latter. After much though, I have made my decision and I now mournfully and reluctantly set down my pen.

I reached my decision this week after much consideration of the responses to the blog articles that I have written these past few months. As I tended more to address the darker side of war, enthusiasm for my writings diminished. While I never sought to obtain an unfettered adulation from those visiting here, my concern increased over the lack of reader receptivity to the less "Currier and Ives" portrayals of our shared past. I also remain troubled that I may have inadvertently contributed to an overly romanticized image of perhaps one of the most tragic kinds of endeavors in human history. As I pondered my choices over the last several weeks, the words of Nathan Bedford Forrest rang progressively louder in my ears. "War means fighting," he proclaimed, "and fighting means killing."

Consistent with a change in the tone of the comments I have recently received, one example may serve to encapsulate them all. The very fine web site, Civil War Interactive, has over the last few months chosen to ignore many of my posts in their weekly reviews. I had grown accustomed to the lack of a response to my writings on the previously proposed casino at Gettysburg but grew troubled by the disregard shown for what I consider my darker posts. Instead of acknowledging any specific disapproval and despite the presence of new articles most weekends, they instead implied that I had ceased to write.

I have come to believe that avoiding the discussion of the more savage aspects of war damages the perception of both the degree of our ancestors’ incredible sacrifices and of the importance of the lessons we take from their excruciating ordeals. The continued lack of enthusiasm for the discussion of the brutal, raw side of war contributes to my concerns that avoiding such issues increases the likelihood that those who have not experienced combat may conclude that war is more glorious than is justified. Given that between 170,000,000 and 216,000,000 people have died during the wars of the 20th Century, the highest total in thousands of years of civilized human history, I can no longer satisfy my conscience while writing what may contribute to a sterilized, romanticized view of warfare. Questions broaching which soldier could have constructed a more efficient offensive or defensive strategy too often resemble the casual discussion of a football game rather than addressing how to avoid the massively tragic slaughter altogether.

Certainly I could continue to write regardless of the response and push ahead with discussing the horrors of war. At this point though, I have neither the energy nor the desire to continue with that struggle. I need only look inward for the source of this apparent shortcoming and, in acknowledging as much, I must accept responsibility for the portion of the diminished enthusiasm that originates from within.

Once I have had the time to develop a greater understanding of the origins, justifications, and costs of warfare and the degree to which my small corner of the cyber world influences individual opinions, I may again take my pen and breathe life back into the pages of this blog. For now, I maintain my continued unwavering respect for the veterans of all of America’s conflicts and wholeheartedly thank everyone who has stopped here to read and reflect.

God bless.

Randy

This writer acknowledges the right of the web authors noted above to conduct their web sites as they so chose. I intend no implied criticism by my interpretation of their actions.

1 comment:

Christena said...

I have been in search of such interesting Articles, I am on a holiday its good to see that everyone are trying their best to keep up the Spirit by having such great articles posted.

Cheers, Keep it up.


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christena
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