Winston Churchill described the American Civil War as "the last romantic war and the first horrendous modern war". Still, wartimes tend to become somewhat romantic, in some ways, after they have past. Just look at all the romantic novels set in WWII, or the abundance of romantic films from that era.
I was born in 1969. All my life, I've listened to my parents and older siblings describing that time with a glint in their eye. It seems to have its own romance. An aura of innocence and ideals. The opposition against, and victory over, a bloody, protracted war. I would read in awe about people standing up for what they believed in. Protesting, and being arrested for it. My generation has been called the 'X generation'. In part because of its total lack of a Cause. Therefore, this all seemed fascinating to a boy, growing up in an era where the greatest clashes were between The Sex Pistols and Duran Duran.
I am now watching, at close range, as America launches into a full-scale attack on a broken-down, third-world country. I've seen Americans trying valiantly to prevent this invasion. To fight madness with reason. Protesting in the streets. Writing letters. Blogging. Failing. Now they, like I, watch woebegone and helplessly as a nation is being crushed. Their homes destroyed. Their children killed. In their own country. Whole cities are being declared 'legitimate targets'. By an emotionless, foreign, invading force.
Watching this is devoid of any romance. I will not be sitting down with my grandchildren one day, recalling nostalgically the anti-war vigils I attended at the beginning of the century. No. The foul taste in my mouth will not wash. The disdain for the nationwide ignorance, fear and indifference that has spawned this abomination will not subside. These acts are evil. And wrong. I feel ashamed that they are being perpetrated in my name. And sick to my stomach over my inability to do anything about it.