Pro Patria

"My soul insists that I mourn not a man but a child.

I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame they do die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays.

But they are murdered children all the same.

And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day dispensing what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind.

Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.

I do not mean to be ungrateful for the fine, martial show we are about to see -- and a thrilling show it really will be...And hooray say I for thrilling shows.

But if today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in war, is today a day for a thrilling show?

The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants, are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and of all mankind."

US Ambassador Horlick Minton

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