How does one confront death in war?
Topic: Confronting death
Armitage: Look, I can just say for myself: You go to war perhaps . . . For me frankly, I never considered not going. It seemed to me that it was expected of me. And beyond that I’ve never thought of something very meaningful happening in the world without me trying to be a part of it in some small way. And I meant something good happening in the world, not something bad.
Regarding war itself, I think that it’s been the experience of almost everyone who has heard the angry iron and had to . . . had to face the fear that war brings that you’re not fighting for your nation, though that may be your initial motivation. You’re fighting for your colleagues, your friends. You’re fighting not to be embarrassed – things of that nature. I would say that in my view, there’s not much good – though war is often necessary – it’s too overwhelming to put so much ability to adjudicate over life and death in the hands of a young man or young woman. It’s too empowering in a way, and it’s not something that I think necessarily should belong in the hands of humans. It should belong to God. But having said that, there certainly are necessary wars. And thank God we’ve had young men – and now young men and women – who are willing to sacrifice for us.
Armitage, on confronting death.
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