I’m not entirely sure what to feel or think about this essay by Phil Klay, except that I know it is important to read it. It covers a lot of ground, from the changing and historical conceptions of the “citizen soldier” to the moral risk and challenge war brings to all of us in a society that engages in it, not just to soldiers and veterans. It is a long read but immeasurably valuable. This, in particular, spoke to me, but is only part of the essay’s unsettling and necessary theme:
All of us are called to serve our society, not blindly because that would not render true service, yet to give of ourselves all the same. So often we shy away from that, afraid, willfully ignorant. Yet it is our sacred duty to work to the good. Like the soldiers we send to war we are not wholly at fault for the evils and tragedies all around us, and yet, like them, we carry a moral burden that we owe to one another and to God not to ignore.