Tearless the Enemies of Peace

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Dalton Trumbo with his wife Cleo at the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings in 1947.

“World War I began like a Summer festival – all billowing skirts and golden epaulets. Millions upon millions cheered from the sidewalks while plumed Imperial Highnesses, Serenities and Field Marshals and other such fools paraded thorugh the capital cities of Europe at the head of their shining legions.

It was a season of generosities, a time for boasts, bands, poems, songs, innocent prayers. It was an August made palpitant and breathless by the pre-nuptial nights of young gentlemen officers and the girls they left permanently behind.  One of the Highland regiments went over the top in its first battle behind forty kilted bagpipers skirling away for all they were worth – at machine guns.

Nine million corpses later, when the bands stopped and the Serenities started running, the wail of bagpipes would never again sound…

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