One of the books I’m reading currently is America’s Part in the World War by Richard J. Beamish, ©1919. Here’s a brief excerpt:
How the flower of America’s youth, answering the call to battle, sprang to the support of the colors; how America’s army of democracy was raised almost overnight, trained in an incredibly short period of time and made ready for the front line trenches in the battle for civilization, is a story that will go down through the ages as a monument for all time to the patriotism of America’s young manhood.
It’s sort of a bittersweet thing to read.
One of the things I enjoy about it has nothing to do with the subject matter. If you’ve ever read an interview with Tiny Tim, you know he talked like that all the time. It’s a pity he wasn’t born a half a century earlier- he would have been one of the cool kids. The style is entertaining.
But the facts are staggering. The disruption to lives, the death and human suffering were immense. Colorful words and flags can’t conceal the awful tragedy of it all.
And always in the background is the sad side that the author wouldn’t have known in 1919: he truly believed that good had triumphed over evil, that the world was now safe and free, and the story was ended.
He had know way to know it was only the prologue.