Nah, I’m just kidding. Many people aren’t serious when they say those words, but to the soldiers, these words aren’t thrown around lightly. Soldiers do everything together; during their time they serve in the army, they’ve all seen their comrades through everything. Through good times and hardships, through times where they just wanted to give everything up, and through times of complete horror. They’ve seen it all. They’ve also seen their strengths, their weaknesses, their good and their bad qualities. They know each other inside out, better than married couples do. I wasn’t really aware of how close they were until I read a war novel in English class called All Quiet on the Western Front. Have any chickeneers read this book before? If so, I’d like your thoughts about this book! I just find it so amazing how strong of a bond they have, that it makes the friendships we make in our lives completely incomparable.
How many friends do you really have? You might say you have a lot, but think again. I don’t mean your facebook friends, those people you added but don’t really know, but true friends. Friends that would stick by you when things get tough, or support you when others don’t. Friends that you consider family, because you can say anything and everything to them and know that they’ll listen. Friends that care. Friends that love you for you, not for someone you pretend to be. How many real friends do you have? To be honest, I’d say I’ve only had 3 or 4 real friends in my entire life. And even so, I’d say I don’t know that much about my real friends; not as much as the soldiers. The soldiers are all one big family. Not only is it a huge amount of people, but they know the little things about each other that makes them, them. Their bond is like no other; it’s truly unexplainable. You might say that you have a friend who truly loves you for who you are, and will go through everything that you will go through- but is it one who will die for you? Is it one who will go through your hardships with you, sacrifice themselves for you?
Soldiers show true friendship. They’d do anything to be together, to make sure the other person doesn’t feel lonely. “We stick together; you see.” In All Quiet, Paul fakes a fever in order to leave the train with Albert, although he’s in good health. He decides to stand by him, even though he doesn’t need to. This type of sacrifice warms my heart, because although they’re not related, although they treat each other like family. The stronger bond is shown between Kat and Paul. When Kat was injured in chapter eleven, Paul carried him all the way to the dressing station while shells were raining down on them. He didn’t have to – he could’ve left him there, yet he used his own energy and painstakingly carried him to safety. It’s depressing, because once they reached the station, Kat dies because of a splinter in his head.
“I am no longer a shuddering speck of existence, alone in the darkness;-I belong to them and they to me; we all share the same fear and the same life; we are nearer than lovers, in a simple, a harder way; I could bury my face in them, in these voices, these voices that have saved me and will stand by me.” (All Quiet on the Western Front, page 212) I find this quote really empowering. It shows how close to each other they really are, although they were strangers in different places in the world and had different life situations just a couple years ago. I’d have to admit, I’m envious of this type of friendship. One friendship like this is hard to achieve these days; it just can’t be done.
So there it is guys… what true friendship is. Yes, there is a difference between friends that you hang out in school, and friends (more like a second family) that you went to war with. But friends are friends, so be nice to them and don’t force them to go to war in order to make you guys feel closer. (Not that you guys would do that… right guys? 😀 Don’t be like Kantorek!)
-By Raining Chocolate, Cinnamon Roll, and MetriDee