Thursday, October 03, 2013

Funston - Memoirs of Two Wars (Cuba and the Philippines)

From the Preface:

In writing reminiscences it is difficult to avoid overworking the personal pronoun in the first person singular, without making the style so stilted that the account might be taken for an official report; but in this case an attempt has been made not to offend too deeply against the canons of good taste in that particular respect. Acknowledgment is hereby made of the fact that in the times described the writer was by no means the only person present in either Cuba or Luzon.

The author would scarcely advise a young man to follow in his own footsteps, and go into foreign lands looking for trouble merely because his own country did not furnish enough; as the chances are that he would finally rest in a forgotten grave, as was the case with not a few of our countrymen who assisted the Cubans in their struggle for independence, but whose very names are not now known by the people for whom they gave their lives.

After we have passed middle age the tendency of most of us is to live in the days that have gone by, and to give but little thought to the future. Whatever may happen to one later, if on many more than a hundred days of his life he has heard the popping of the bullets of the Mausers, he can congratulate himself on the fact that he is still alive; and can sit back in an easy chair and spend many pleasant hours thinking of the things that were. It is worthwhile if you win, but not if you lose. It is good to have lived through it all.

Manila, August, 1911. 

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