Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What shall be our legacy?

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What will our children say?

Let them say of me:
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings I received.

Let me know in my heart
when my days are through
I gave my best to you.

- Gene Scheer
American Anthem



I've now watched the first five episodes of The War (thanks to my DVR). I'm amazed at the story. Not because of how significant it was in shaping the current world, nor because of the enormous amount of carnage and destruction. But because I know so little about it.

My own father was in the US military between 1941 and 1946. I think he served in the South Pacific as a pilot. And that's all I know. He never talked about. If he had any photos, or souvenirs, I never saw them. Unfortunately, he's now deceased.

I asked my mother this week what she knew about my father's military service. They met in 1943 and got married in 1946. She said that she doesn't know any more than I do. She said that he never talked about it.

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PS. I'm in love with the song American Anthem. And with Nora Jones. If you're not familiar with it, take two minutes and ten seconds to watch the above video clip. Now.

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8 comments:

Doug said...

I read somewhere that our society or our species thrives on war. It doesn't seem like we're doing a good job disproving that theory.

Matt said...

I agree with Doug.

I love this song (and Norah Jones) too.

My Dad was in WW II as well - I know he was part of an engineering squadron and didn't see much fighting, but he did have some pictures from planes of bombs expoding on the ground in Belgium. That's about all I know, too.

somewhere joe said...

In so many ways they were the Greatest Generation. What they gave us, in due course, was American hegemony, backed by incalculable admiration and prestige. It makes me weep to see the spectacle of how that has been, and is being, worse than squandered. I'd love to say God Bless America, but the words are starting to catch in my throat. Fifteen more months and counting.

Steven said...

What has been happening these last ten years has been eroding the sentiment that I once held for our military and country. Thank God for Tom Brokaw and "The Greatest Generation."

I notice also quite frequently how there are those who like to be "mum" about their service back in the day. I wonder if it may have ever had to do with the fact that they personally were involved in combat that led to a comrad's or enemy's death?

Love the song! Thanks for sharing!

CondoBlogger said...

I could never be that brave.

Cooper said...

I adore Norah Jones! I love her song Turn Me On! ... And also, Moon Song ...

I hadn't heard this Anthem song of hers before, and the video gives it that much more impact. It pierces me to the quick and I am not even American. What other response could there be than to cry ... in empathy, and in sorrow.

Gawpo said...

Well Paul, I left you a comment response about the monastery of Sant'Anselmo. Turns out it was built a scant 107 years ago. The marble is hardly even dry. Hardly. Get it? Anyway, for some reason I thought the joint was older. It is not. And here I am again, down in the basement with four other monks clicking away, checking their email from home in Africa or Europe or who knows where else.

Now about this post: My Uncle Carl came back from infantry fighting in the South Pacific. He did not ever share much at all with his brothers (one of whom is my father) or any friends or even favorite nephews. My father told me that when he first came back, he said that it was so horrible that he didn't want to talk about it. That said, my father never asked again. Even as a child, I was sensitive to the matter enough to never ask. For the life of me, I don't get it when kids see my sidearm and ask, "Have you ever shot anyone?" As a child, I just never would have asked that question. This might be part of what Joe is talking about. Dunno.

Well, thanks for another great post, Paul. Back to checking my email. Ciao.

And no. I haven't.

Gawpo said...

Well Paul, I left you a comment response about the monastery of Sant'Anselmo. Turns out it was built a scant 107 years ago. The marble is hardly even dry. Hardly. Get it? Anyway, for some reason I thought the joint was older. It is not. And here I am again, down in the basement with four other monks clicking away, checking their email from home in Africa or Europe or who knows where else.

Now about this post: My Uncle Carl came back from infantry fighting in the South Pacific. He did not ever share much at all with his brothers (one of whom is my father) or any friends or even favorite nephews. My father told me that when he first came back, he said that it was so horrible that he didn't want to talk about it. That said, my father never asked again. Even as a child, I was sensitive to the matter enough to never ask. For the life of me, I don't get it when kids see my sidearm and ask, "Have you ever shot anyone?" As a child, I just never would have asked that question. This might be part of what Joe is talking about. Dunno.

Well, thanks for another great post, Paul. Back to checking my email. Ciao.

And no. I haven't.