.. it matters, what you do at war

Here is the truth: It matters, what you do at war. It matters more than you ever want to know. Because countries, like people, have collective consciences and memories and souls, and the violence we deliver in the name of our nation is pooled like sickly tar at the bottom of who we are. The soldiers who don’t die for us come home again. They bring with them the killers they became on our national behalf, and sit with their polluted memories and broken emotions in our homes and schools and temples. We may wish it were not so, but actions amounts to identity. We become what we do. You can tell yourself all the stories you want, but you can’t leave your actions over there. You can’t build a wall and expect to live on the other side of memory. All of that poison seeps back into our soil.

– Megan K. Stack, Every Man in this Village is a Liar (2010)

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