December 31, 2010

Two Sides to Everything

Yesterday we visited the World War I Museum here in Kansas City. An amazing place--filled with artifacts, letters, diaries and journal entries from enlisted men and officers, and extremely well-done multimedia presentations.

A special exhibit called Men and Machines shows the war from the German viewpoint. We saved it for last and reading the excerpts from German soldiers' writing brought home so clearly that those fighting in a war, regardless of the side they're on, view the death, injury, and destruction in much the same way. Both sides suffer hardship and indignities, loneliness and heartache, hunger and fatigue.

As a writer, I was especially touched by the personal accounts of life in the trenches expressed by men on both sides. Here are two excerpts from German soldiers:

Let's hope that in the coming year we travel down the road to peace!