Willem Constantijn Staring was born in 1847 as the Benjamin of seven children. In 1830 his father had marched in the Ten Day Crusade against Belgium and since then had a lifelong dislike of the military. Nevertheless Willem chose for a career in the army. In the 19th century a not uncommon choice for an upper middle class boy. Yet the army didn't bring him much adventure. At the time Staring joined the army, the country wasn't involved in a war and also wouldn't be till WWII.
The heading of this article might give you the idea we're going to discuss Amnesty International here. That ain't so. No dear, we're talking about the freedom here to step outdoors in your tightest tanktop without first having to remove all the unwanted hair on your back, shoulders or belly.
Till the mid-nineteenth century slavery was a normal thing and till this very day in some remote corners of the world it still is. In the Fifties of the last century the catholic church withdrew her moral approval of slavery. Pretty quick, since a mere hundred years before all westeren countries had abolished it. Maybe we can expect the church's approval of gay marriage by 2095!
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