Now, We Understand

By Tom Varnum '89

Now, we understand.

If we were fortunate to know our great-grandparents, perhaps we listened with a child’s fascination about the “great war.” Terms such as “trench warfare” and “mustard gas” sounded interesting, but we could not grasp the magnitude of what Gertrude Stein called the “lost generation.” Thousands of young men called to action across the ocean to defend countries we barely even knew existed, much less had seen. Maybe it was a long scar, a slight limp or a raspy cough, which brought these memories to the surface. We listened, but we could not comprehend the sacrifice, horror and confusion they must have felt.…

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