Below are a series of thoughts, short excerpts and quotes that come from those directly involved, influenced and affected by war. In some cases, the passages are taken out of context, but the message still remains. In other cases, the words fit the moment. A list of possible activities to experience using this section follows.
- Create a commonplace book. Commonplace books have their origin in the Renaissance as one means of coping with the information overload of that era. They helped people select, organize, classify, and remember key moral precepts. Today Commonplace Books are used to record reflections, ideas, and information that needs to be experienced and remembered. Select a number of thoughts, excerpts and quotes from the following pages and write your own reflections for each. Consider illustrating your reflections with photographs, posters, paintings, or political cartoons. Even better, create your own illustrations.
- Design posters. Select one or more of the quotes and design a poster that can be used to convey a message you want to give to others. The design can be to commemorate a particular war or can be used to support your concern about current events.
- Reader’s Theater. Use the material here to either create a reader’s theater or to incorporate the thoughts, excerpts and quotes into a single production. Similar to a play, a reader’s theater has a number of parts and can involve staging and music. Scenery is basic, if any is used. Often the stage is dark and a narrator introduces the script. A reader’s theater can be written by an individual or several people can work on it simultaneously. Research can be conducted on war generally, or a specific war, such as those named in the previous section. Write descriptive paragraphs on the theme. Combine the historical events with poetry and other writings found in this module, including using quotes. The narrative script is written to weave the entire production together. Other themes may be a play written from one country’s perspective, through the eyes of a warrior, expressions of feelings from individuals misplaced by the war, or thoughts expressed by those who remained on the home front. There can be a number of different roles written into the piece. A single voice or two could be used to describe events, and different parts can be given to those who read poetry, excerpts from diaries, or quotes. Often the narrator’s role is the must substantial.
- Staging multiple productions. Several Reader’s Theaters could be written and staged during a commemorative event that includes poetry and other writings, the culmination of studying about a particular war, or as an event that looks at war generally or as a global phenomenon. Don’t forget to create a playbill announcing your Reader’s Theater event. A program booklet complete with background on the presentation and the actors can also be prepared.
To have good soldiers, a nation must always be at war..-- Napoleon Bonaparte
In war there is no prize for the runner-up.-- General Omar Bradley
When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.-- Winston Churchill
War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military..-- Georges Clemenceau
I don't know whether war is an interlude during peace, or peace is an interlude during war..-- Georges Clemenceau
The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility. .-- Lord John Fisher
Si vis pacem, para bellum. (If you want peace, prepare for war!).-- Flavius Vegetius Renatus
Never has there been a good war or a bad peace..-- Benjamin Franklin
It is war that shapes peace, and armament that shapes war..-- Thomas Fuller
Naturally, the common people don't want war ... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country. .-- Hermann Goering
He who stays on the defensive does not make war, he endures it..-- Field Marshal Colmar Baron von der Goltz
They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war, there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason. .-- Ernest Hemingway
War is the mother of everything. .-- Heraclitus
To live and shame the land from which we sprung.
Life to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
But young men think it is, and we were young.
-- A. E. Housman
Peace hath her victories, no less renowned than War.-- John Milton
War is an art and as such is not susceptible of explanation by fixed formula.-- General George Patton Jr.
Only the dead have seen the end of war..-- Plato
Anyone, who truly wants to go to war, has never truly been there before! .-- Larry Reeves