Poignant remarks on declining civilizations, from a friend, and retired Army Officer, in SA:Another correspondent reports hearing Third-World style "celebratory" gunfire, fired off in the air by people who don't seem to realize that what goes up must come down somewhere.
"I knew a number of vain, self-righteous pseudo-intellectuals during my time in the Army. They all had elegantly-appointed offices, with double-overlaid carpeting in the floor and expensive paintings on the walls. They fairly dripped with assumed self-importance and constantly boasted of ' political connections' up the food-chain.
They wore starched uniforms, but were always far removed from my young lads and me in the ops area, up in Angola. With sand, blood, and dirt between our teeth, we lived in mud, with our dead and wounded lying in ditches, some on stretchers in the back of idling C130s, their body fluids running down the rails, onto the loading deck, and ultimately accumulating in grotesque puddles on the runway.
Many of these curiously never-deployed types actively participated in 'negotiations' to 'end the War.' Conversely, those of us who actually participated were kept away. In fact, a cabinet minister once said to me, when I mentioned that the 'negotiations' were little more than a conspicuous sell-out, 'What do you know? You are merely a soldier.'
Twenty-two years ago, I nearly died fighting for my country. Many of my men did, and many others were permanently maimed and disabled. Those of us who lived through it are bitter and angry when we remind ourselves that our sacrifice was apparently for nothing. Two decades later, no one remembers, nor cares!
We 'survivors' spend what years we have remaining talking softly, out-of-doors at parties, nursing mutual memories and old wounds, out of earshot of course, of the more 'refined' amongst us, who cringe at the mere sight of a gun, or the stark appearance of those who stand guard at night.
Keep spreading the sunshine, my friend! You, for at least a little longer, still have something worth fighting for."[More, including Farnam's comments.]
"This New Year's Eve, I went out on my back porch shortly before midnight. A few minutes prior, shooting started, sporadic, but much more than years ago.At midnight, the evening virtually erupted into what sounded like a major, military operation! There were thousands of rounds fired in the first ten minutes following the stroke of twelve. Heavy fire continued for twenty more minutes thereafter. Firing continued, albeit at a diminishing pace, until two in the morning, when I went to bed.The location of this latter occurrence was the city of Detroit.
There may have been firecrackers mixed in, but nearly all of it sounded like conventional gunfire to me!
I am concerned, as is every other sane person who witnessed this madness."["Celebratory" Gunfire, January 6, 2011]