Epilogue: There is Still Time To Die

  • Jack Belden


TIME is flowing by and I am going back into battle. My life, more than that of anyone I know, has been spent in lonely wanderings among the dreary wastelands of war. It is not that I have known as much of war in as intense form as hundreds of thousands of others; for I have not. It is that, having landed ten years ago as a destitute vagabond upon the shores of China, I was plunged into the middle of an alien nation’s war, reeling down across the continent with beaten and defeated soldiers, living with them, for them, but never, never once, being of them. It is that venturing out of China into Burma, and being driven from that land through the jungles into India, and then marching across the African desert with victory into Europe—it is that with these armies, never carrying a gun, never knowing the common purpose of murder, always standing apart even from the ambitions and duties of my own American soldiers— it is because of this that I say I have spent a life of solitude in the midst of war. What I have known and learned of war cannot therefore be what the soldier learns and knows, no matter how hard I try. I propose, nevertheless, to describe not all I have learned of war but what in the few brief hours left to me comes running on the heels of memory into mind.


Pearl Harbor American Soldier Tenant Farmer Good Earth American Officer 
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© Jack Belden 1944

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  • Jack Belden

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