What We Owe the War Dead

Back in the days before moral relativism and progressive historicism rendered all war (except communist revolutionary war) an unambiguous evil – that is, before "giving peace a chance," regardless of the conditions upon which that peace was to be purchased, became an unqualified (and therefore non-relative?) good – art about war was expected to comprise both the pain of loss and the legacy of heroism.  Today, by contrast, "serious" art about war must focus only on the absurdity, emptiness, or futility of it all.  Thus, in an age that conflates its petty materialism with righteous sophistication, we are losing the compulsion to keep faith with those who traded everything earthly on our behalf, in exchange for a bit of eternal dignity.  In neglecting this compulsion, we lose that part of ourselves whence also derives such old-fashioned concerns as conscience, responsibility, and loyalty.  If death in war is only to be...(Read Full Article)