We were in Cartagena, Spain, recently before we left for our cruise.

In the town square at the waterfront is an unusual war memorial: A Spanish memorial to the Spanish-American war, which Spain lost.

The monument has a sailor holding a dying soldier.

The victories are holding their laurel wreaths down.

The monument lists the great battle at Santiago, Cuba, and the names of the young men from the area who fought and who died in battles against Americans.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the war, two additional statues were added on the pier by the monument.

One is of a soldier with his head resting on his hand.


One shows a sailor weary walking home with his duffle bag.

What else can way say about a distant, lost war.


The Spanish-American war was one of the least justified wars in American history, and it had a human cost.


Even far more justified wars have human costs. In the Kolpinghaus (similar to a Catholic YMCA) in Eichstaett in Bavaria is a simple marble plaque with the names of the young Catholic men from the town who died in World War II. At the end, not even the dates of their death were known: they simply never came home.


Eichstaett was an intensely Catholic town and known for its opposition to Nazism. But the young Catholics of the town were drafted and died fighting for an evil cause. It is well for both the world and for the Germans that Nazism was defeated – but the young men of Eichstaett are dead, and almost forgotten.

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