BrucePrintscreen wrote:My wife's granfather is viewed in her family as a hero for what he did in WWII but he always refused to talk about it himself: what we see as the time when he fought nazis, he sees it as these frightening years when he killed other young dudes. Deep inside, I know he is far more proud of what he did after the war: contributing to society, starting a nice family, being socially active, starting a business...
I understand what you mean here. Both my Grandfather and Great Grandfather (May they rest in peace. I love you Grumpa!) fought in WWII and neither of them ever spoke of the experiences they had during the war. My GG used to joke that he lost his middle finger in the war giving the finger to the Nazi's, but never once did he ever tell me how he actually
lost it. And apart from mentioning that he was in a tank regiment he never spoke about what happened.
And I know that my Granddad ended up contracting Yellow fever and Typhoid and was hospitalized in a city, not far away from the British base he was stationed at near the German border sometime in 1944. While all the other soldiers around him in the infectious diseases ward died (This was pre-penicillin), he managed to cling on to life and was bed ridden for just over 8 months. When the doctors finally said he was fit enough to fly he was sent home and spent another 6 months in Dundee Royal Infirmary (Where he was given penicillin for the first time). He had spent 5 years fighting on the front lines to end up contracting a nearly fatal illness, which left him with scarred lungs for the rest of his days which eventually claimed him in later life. And to the day he passed he never once spoke of the things he'd done but you could tell from the way his eyes went when I asked (being a kid you're curious), that it haunted him, and was not something he was ever proud of.
To which my little tale brings me to the fact that, Suikoden never glamorizes war. All the characters strive to end it, as quickly as possible. The hero has to struggle with the fact that the longer the war goes on the more people will be hurt and killed, and this weighs heavy on them. I found this especially in 1, 2 and 5. All protagonists were fighting a loved one, be it father, best friend or younger sister, but knew that in order to make a difference to the diverse range of lives they were fighting FOR that it had to be done! But that's a lot of weight for 1 set of shoulders to bear. Which is why they are surrounded by so many loyal friends to help with that burden. I give credit to Konami for this! Because war is never meant to be fun, or easy and its understandable why the games end with them leaving. From what I've seen, after you've seen the bodies of friend and foe alike strewn on a battlefield, it's nearly impossible for you to have a 'normal' life afterwards.
For this I thank the older generation for what they did, in order to give us what we have now. Thank you.
Just another reason why I love the Suikoden games so much. Thanks Bruce!! Keep us informed of what the missus thinks of S2!!