"When Ernie Pyle, the American war correspondent in World War II, was killed on the Pacific island of Ie Shima in 1945, a rough draft of a column was found on his body. He was preparing it for release upon the end of the war in Europe. He had done much to promote the myth of the warrior and the heroism of soldiering, but by the end he seemed to tire of it all:
"But there are many of the living who have burned
into their brains forever the unnatural sight of cold dead men
scattered over the hillsides and in the ditches along the high rows
of hedge throughout the world.
Dead men by mass production - in one country after another -
month after month and year after year. Dead men in
winter and dead men in summer.
Dead men in such familiar promiscuity that they
Dead men in such monstrous infinity that you come to
almost hate them. These are the things that you at home need
not even try to understand. To you at home they are columns
of figures, or he is a near one who went away and just
didn't come back. You didn't see him lying so grotesque
and pasty beside the gravel road in France.
We saw him, saw him by the multiple thousands.
That's the difference.