War is a terrible game for nations to play, as our pacifists have shown in many words. And while we were at peace, we recognized how terrible war is. We read the dispatches from Europe, telling of Belgium being tortured to extinction, and France agonizing for her very life, shuddered, remarked "War is an awful thing," and turned to the financial page, content with our three full meals a day and our security from lawless nations. We have been told that great wealth is consumed in war, and that brave men die. Which is all very true. . . .
But those who stand face to face with the fact of war see with a clearer vision, and know that the forebodings of those who have declared that war is ghastly are the words of cravens. We see men who have been striving after the futile things of life suddenly bcome magnificent in their vision. We see selfish men grown generous and careless men stirred to passion by the deep love of country. We see the awakening of a dormant people, and know how terrible are many of the ways of peace.
It is not tragic that brave men die. It is tragic that men are afraid to die. All men die, but not all men are brave. We have escaped from one of the terrors of peace. --The Harvard Crimson, May 2, 1917