Klavan On The Culture

Happy Memorial Day

From my 2010 essay on the epic poem Beowulf for the collection Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads:

We in the modern West have been so powerful, so dominant, so safe in our homes for so long that we slip too easily into the illusion that we live at peace. We are never at peace, not really. When we go to the ballet or walk in the park or stop to smell a rose or read a book, we only do so by the good graces of the fighters who stand ready to kill and die to defend us. Soldiers on our borders, police officers on our streets—only the threat of their physical force keeps those who would murder, rob, or enslave us at bay. Every moment of tranquility and freedom implies the warrior who protects it.