His father opened his mouth to answer — and then his jaw worked, his face reddened, and, without saying a word, he got up and walked out of the room. That’s the truth about the war: the sense that what happened over there simply can’t be told in the language of peace.

It’s sort of a Memorial Day tradition for me to remind you to read Lee Sandlin’s “Losing the War,” an essay that originally appeared in two parts in the Reader. An abridged version appeared on This American Life.