“I became busy drinking Calvados, and cracking jokes with intellectual friends about the military mind. My illusion was that I had come to understand the world better. I had even gone through a period — briefly — when I believed that it’s all the soldiers’ fault; that it all starts with war-toys; that war begins somehow in soldiers’ minds. Smart people often believe stupid things like that.
“Now I keep thinking of the old man with whom I waited 63 years ago. Wherever he is now, in 1987 he was still sitting an arm’s length away from me at Sunnybrook Hospital. It took him 50 days to make the 10-mile trip from the beaches to Caen, and I can write this column only because he got there in time.”