"That piece of land was not worth all those lives."

03 Mar 2012

Susanna Rustin interviews Roberto Herrscher and Tony McNally, veterans of the Falklands war:

More veterans have killed themselves than were killed in the war, and that was more than double the number of British soldiers. I think I have escaped more or less complete. I’ve had nightmares, but nothing like what you went through, and many Argentines. And in our case, we were not heroes, we had lost a war.

There have been too many wars for us, as a species, not to realize that the costs are paid unto the survivors tenfold. Those left behind share their scars with those left untouched and societies are forever changed. Wars transform us to the point that we are no longer the same country that fought in them. We, in choosing to fight, lose something of ourselves.

That wars are sometimes necessary, that we are called to fight on behalf of the weak or the frail, does nothing to lessen the shift that comes from violence. We are harmed when we must harm another and should do everything in our power prevent it.