May 11, 2008

MARKED PASSAGES

I read the book Gates of Fire because Neil from Armor Geddon said that I reminded him of a Spartan woman. What a compliment! I loved the book when I read it during the last deployment. My husband picked up the book about a year after he returned from Iraq, and he was almost mad at me: "Why didn't you suggest I read this book sooner?" Heh.

I'm reading it again now, and I noticed that my husband marked some passages when he read it. I love to see what he marked, like a window into his mind, illuminating what's important to him.

Like this passage:

War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble. There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek and find that part of himself, concealed beneath the corrupt, which shines forth brilliant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods.

And this passage, which I know must have struck a chord with my husband. If I were to say that anything haunted my husband from his first deployment, it would be that he wishes he had done more:

The secret shame of the warrior, the knowledge within his own heart that he could have done better, done more, done it more swiftly or with less self-preserving hesitation; this censure, always most pitiless when directed against oneself, gnawed unspoken and unrelieved at the men's guts. No decoration or prize of valor, not victory itself, could quell it entire.

I like these marked passages; it's as if my husband is here beside me, reading aloud the things he finds interesting. It's nice to hear his voice in the house.

Posted by: Sarah at 08:58 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 I love those quotes.

Posted by: Allison at May 11, 2008 06:18 PM (7gasU)

2 That is, by far, one of my all-time favorite books.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at May 12, 2008 02:24 PM (4Es1w)

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