Monday, February 18, 2008

The War

For those that don't know, I am an avid World War II enthusiast. I hate to use the word "enthusiast" to describe my fascination for that time during our world's history, but I can think of no other word to describe how I feel.

The PBS series, The War, produced and directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, is a powerful documentary that I highly recommend every American to watch. The sacrifices and courage displayed by ordinary folks like you and I are poignantly documented in this series.

I managed to DVR some of the series a few months ago and have been watching and re-watching the episodes that I managed to record. As I have been watching, I can't but help think about how many WWII veterans have passed away today. Over a thousand pass away everyday. We are losing the greatest generation in modern history.

If you have a family member who was alive during that time, they were affected. Sit down and talk to them about it if they are willing and able. Learn about their experiences and document it for your family's future generations. It will be priceless.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, I'd be glad to help.

I'll get off my soap box now.


mw said...

my mom's dad flew b-17's in ww2. i have the silver wings from his jacket in my bedroom. it's believed that he bombed a few french museums along the way.

Cornbread said...

Thanks for sharing Matt. You should document your Grandfather's experience for your children's children.

I flew in a B-17 in 2000. Cost me 500 bucks, but worth every penny. Can't hear shit in those things. Four prop engines deafen ya in the nose. Amazing experience.

CJ said...

Lot's of military in my family. I am a bit of WWII buff myself. I have watched the entire series on PBS. It was really good. I also liked Band of Brothers.

I think that Americans are so very fascinated by WWII because it was a time when we all came together so well, and we did something that had such a world impact.

BTW, never been on a B-17, but I have been in a few C130's and those planes are very loud as well.

Peace out

sda said...

One of the last times I saw my Grandfather we talked for a couple of hours about his time in England. He never saw any combat but said that Nazi air raids were very common. He dealt with the stress by "borrowing" the MP's Harley motorbikes and cruising the country side. I have most of his WWII memorabilia - medals, clothes, and the like. It is a fascinating piece of our Country's history. I feel like a pansy when I think about the sacrifices that generation made - at home and abroad.

Cornbread said...

Well put fellas. Well put.

Our generation has no idea the level of sacrifice made by that generation. One can argue that they were attacked (Pearl Harbor), but we were too (9/11).

Was it blind patriotism back in the day? I dunno, maybe. But everyone in America made sacrifices during WWII. For most Americans (those not having direct involvement with the military somehow) the only sacrifice we make is in our pocket books while at the pump.

Definitely a different time.

monkeygirl said...

my dad was a navigator on a plane called the rum runner. I think in his squadron at the start of the war, there 40 planes and he was one of 6, at the end of war. Suffered frost bite on his feet one time when they were in the air and his batteries in his boots went out. He did not lose any portion of his feet from it. he was in the european theater and he never really spoke very much of it. after he died I found some letters from some men in his unit and I recall being surprised by the sad tenor of them as those men readjusted to their lives after the war. That is not something we often associate with the greatest generation.

Cornbread said...

Thanks for sharing Regina.

The War series touches on the difficulty the men had readjusting to civilian life. I couldn't imagine going from Hell on Earth and then back to "normal" life. Everything would seem trivial.

MOD said...

NPR had a great piece on Iwo Jima today.

Cornbread said...

Missed it, but thanks to the wonderful interweb, I can listen whenever I want on the NPR website. Thanks for the tip Mark.

For what ever reason, Japan changed the name of Iwo Jima to Iwo To back in June. The name still means the same thing, sulfur island.

Cornbread said...

Couldn't find the story on NPR, but did some digging. The last known Marine in the famous Iwo Jima photo (raising the flag on Mount Suribachi), Raymond Jacobs, passed away on January 29th.

For those who haven't seem the movie Flags of Our Fathers directed by Clint Eastwood, I highly recommend it. It tells the story of the surviving Marines from that photo and their struggles before, during and after the famous photo.

The man who took the photo, Joe Rosenthal, passed away on my birthday in 2006.

Shane"CRASH"Jones said...

Cornbread, nice post. I'm reading Bowerman and the men of Oregon by Kenny Moore right now. There's some very cool info about The 10th mountain division, of which Bill Bowerman was part of, as well as WWII.

Cornbread said...

I'll have to check that book out. I've been sluggin' my way through a few books right now. It usually takes me months or years to finish a complete book. Sad.