WITH EVERY DAY the danger was growing, the handwriting on the wall becoming clearer, and finally, as a few wise men had foreseen, the dogs of war once again were loosed upon the world.
Another war! To those of us who had been involved in that first world conflict and whose sons were now called upon to fight in this, it seemed only yesterday since the thunder of the guns had been stilled, since the little black-coated politicians in whose hands we trustfully place our destinies had promised us, in florid phrases, lasting terrestrial harmony.
What under heaven was wrong with the human race? People, as individuals, as I had met them everywhere, were, in the main, amiable, goodhearted, peace-loving. Why, then, this mass, recurrent impulse to fall upon their neighbours, this blind hysterical urge toward slaughter and self-destruction? What folly what purposeless, unending lunacy!
But the mortal struggle had begun, and disasters came thick and fast upon us. The surrender of Belgium, followed swiftly by the evacuation of Dunkirk, and the occupation of Holland -- these were great misfortunes. But when France fell and the streets of Paris echoed with the tramp of the invaders, it seemed as though freedom could not survive, as though violence and tyranny had prevailed.
Then came the bombings, the guided missiles, all that human ingenuity and malice could devise, a ruthless and indiscriminate holocaust from the air. Women, children, and old people alike were killed, wounded, and maimed, mangled in a bloody mist of pain.