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Burdens of battle

‘Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment … It was not courage, exactly; the object was not valor . Rather, they were too frightened to be cowards.’ (Tim O’Brien, Vietnam veteran, quoted in Chris Walsh, Cowardice: A Brief History, 2014)