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WWII Memorial, finally!

12 Nov 00 - 05:35 AM (#339076)
Subject: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

I watched the groundbreaking ceramony for the World War II Memorial on CNN last night. I am glad to see that my Dad and so many others are finally getting the recognition they so richly deserve. While I was watching and listening to all the pompous asses at the podium I couldn't help but wonder, 'Why did it take 55 years to reach this point?' Did it take that long for us as a nation to decide that maybe there should be a monument to those that gave us so much? Yes, I know, the idea was first presented in 1987, which makes it really only 42 years before someone thought that we should do something. Sad state of affairs....While I have the soapbox out, let me opine about the stupidity of changing national holidays to suit our needs. Veterans Day, November 11 was celebrated in our town on November 10th. Since the Armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, hence making November 11th the official day of remembrance, what right do we have to change that day to the 10th? I think that is very disrespectful to those that sacrificed so much for their country. What's next, Fourth of July will be celebrated on the 7th, since the 4th is a Tuesday and we want three day weekend. Or how about celebrating New Years day on the 3rd of January. Hell, why stop there? Let's move all the holidays to the same month and take a week or two off...!

Thank you...soapbox put away...rant off


12 Nov 00 - 08:55 AM (#339118)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Liz the Squeak

Remembrance day was a moveable feast, I have a book 'In Flanders Fields - the story of the poem by John McCrae', by Linda Granfield, which features a poster from the 1920's giving poppy day (Armistice day) as November 15th

The book is a poignant story of how the poem was written, the author's life and death, and the beginnings of the Poppy Appeal, and well worth a read. It was published first in Canada, but is available widely.

LTS


12 Nov 00 - 04:03 PM (#339295)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Cobble

It is only moveable to the point of the nearest Sunday to the 11th. And over the last year or two people here have two minutes silence on the 11th no matter what day it falls on like they used to do, after the first war.

Cobble.


12 Nov 00 - 06:21 PM (#339347)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Liz the Squeak

That's only when it is Remembrance Sunday - if it is Armistice day, then it should be 11/11. Even Remembrance Sunday gets pushed aside if your patronal saint is Martin of Tours - his feast day is 11/11. Veterans day might be a different sort of day than Armistice day. That's when you think about the dead - veterans, by their very nature are still alive, and should be thought of separately from the dead.

LTS


12 Nov 00 - 07:09 PM (#339372)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

I think my point was missed here...Whether it be a day set aside to honor the living or remember the dead, what right does anyone have to change that day to suit their convenience. It's a good thing we didn't have to wait until it was convenient for those involved to make their sacrifices! Also the question was why it took 55 years to break ground for a memorial in their honor. This thread was started at 5:35 AM. on the 12th. So far there have been 5 posts total; this one and my original one, one from Cobble and two from Liz...Does that make my point? NO one gives a damn evidently! What a shame!!!!


13 Nov 00 - 03:41 PM (#339922)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Bert

Back in 1995 my daughter bought me a T shirt with a picture of WWII soldiers and the message "Thanks to them" I wear it every Nov. 11th. and occasionally at other times.

I don't know why it should have taken so long to build a memorial but it wasn't because 'No one gives a damn'


13 Nov 00 - 03:53 PM (#339932)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: GUEST

Hey don't complain at least they built one thats more than I can say for you ya lazy ass slacker I burn American flags and listen to the Grateful Dead but I still donate my change at Wallmart so what the fuck right do you have to complain you damn pig


13 Nov 00 - 05:45 PM (#340014)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: mousethief

Every Veteran's day for as long as I know, Snoopy has gone down to Bill Mauldin's house and quaffed root beers. This is the first year he didn't probably since I've been alive. Charles M. Schulz served in France in WW2.

Thank you, veterans, and especially those who gave their lives in the service of freedom.

I "marched" in the Veteran's Day parade in Auburn, Washington (largest VD parade west of the Mississippi, we were told) as a chaparone for my son's high school marching band. It was really touching to see all the decorated veterans along the parade route. True heroes.

Yes, I know war is evil. But sometimes it is really the lesser of two evils, and when those times arise, thank goodness there are courageous and selfless men and women willing to risk their lives.

Thank you, veterans.

Alex
O..O
=o=


13 Nov 00 - 11:14 PM (#340223)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

Note to GUEST....I have all the right in the world to complain, and so do you have the right to disagree with me. Just remember, it was the dedication of those that gave their all and the veterans that are still around that won us all those rights. Have a nice day and thank a Vet every chance you get!


14 Nov 00 - 03:49 AM (#340325)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Peter Kasin

I'm with you on that soapbox, Banjer. For some reason, it has taken a long time for the WWII generation to be recognized for their sacrifices. It is striking, but not surprising, that many of them just went about their lives all these years, not making a big fuss about their involement in the war. It seems to attest to their sense of duty - that it was something that they were called to do, and they just did it. Maybe that's why there hasn't been a huge lobbying effort from them to get a memorial, at least until recent years. But - your point is very well taken. They shouldn't have had to lobby for one at all. It should have just been done. It's not very pleasant to think that many of these veterans will no longer be with us when the memorial is completed. At least, there will also be some who will be alive to see it. My late father was a Navy SeaBee in the South Pacific theatre. Good thread, Banjer.

-chanteyranger


14 Nov 00 - 05:02 AM (#340342)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Dave the Gnome

I'm not sure what the thread is about Banjer - What was the groundbreaking ceremony of which you speak ('scuse my ignorance)?

As to 11/11 - why choose the end of WW1 to remember the dead of all wars?

Didn't more die in WW2 - and the count included far more innocent bystanders?

I gues what I am trying to say is that the date does not matter - it is the thought that counts.

D the G


14 Nov 00 - 06:17 AM (#340352)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

D the G, yes it is the thought that counts, you are corect in that, but the date of 11/11 was set after the end of WWI with hopes I suppose that there would not ever be a WWII. The groundbreaking of which I speak is for the national memorial to WWII. I guess the issue is confused. My original post was to be only about the memorial and why it took 55 years to reach this point. I then included my opinions of Veterans Day. Sorry if it caused confusion, but I feel both points are important.


14 Nov 00 - 06:40 AM (#340358)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Steve Parkes

Well, it matters to me with or without a memorial, but I have to say a physical memorial is a very good reminder, and a statement to those of us who weren't actually around at the time.

As a matter of interest, up the road from where I live is Cannock Chase, the remnant of the ancient forest. In it are the Katyn Memorial to the Poles murdered by Stalin and the German Military Cemetery. Both are tucked away among the trees, but both get plenty of visitors, and not just from relatives and friends of those who died. The German cemetery covers both wars; there are a lot of kids in there ... sorry, I'm rambling now.


14 Nov 00 - 11:18 AM (#340473)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: mousethief

Doesn't that Iwo Jima statue in Arlington National Cemetary count as a WW2 monument?

I think the reason we got a Vietnam monument before a WW2 monument is, in part, guilt. We felt so bad (in long retrospect) about how we treated the returning Vietnam vets that to assuage our national guilt we built them a memorial. In contrast we treated the returning WW2 vets as heroes, gave them the GI bill, etc. -- there wasn't nearly the sense of guilt, which has just now built to critical mass when we realized it had been 55 years and they didn't have a memorial (at least one on the Mall, anyway).

Just a thought.

Alex
O..O
=o=


14 Nov 00 - 12:46 PM (#340543)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Bill D

Memorials are usually the product of a one or a few individuals pressing the issue and getting to the right committees at the right moment.....and that can take years. Also, from the films I have seen and stories I have read, WWII was very well memorialized in the many books, films, and general public contentment that followed the war...also Korea happened just a few years later, and distracted our attention again.

I strongly suspect that it was the success of the Vietnam memorial and a couple of others recently that made building memorials a popular idea...I agree that 50 years is a bit long to wait, but I do think that the perspective that we gain from SOME waiting makes it clearer what need to be done and what needs to be emphasized....else we'd have monuments to the troops in Grenada and Ethiopia already which would be tacky. Even the Gulf War needs more time to decide whether or not that strange episode NEEDS a monument......

In Wash DC, there are MANY smaller statues, paintings, plaques, etc. honoring aspects of WWII....(the entire Pentagon is one HUGE reminder of what a nation can do in a short time!)....I do hope this new memorial is tasteful and well-received.


15 Nov 00 - 01:57 AM (#340929)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Peter Kasin

Speaking of a long time, war memorials really got under way around the 1930's, with Civil War sites(!)


15 Nov 00 - 02:23 AM (#340938)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Clifton53

What these men went through to help liberate a continent has always been a source of pride to me. War is evil and a blight on humanity perhaps, but the world would be a different place had they not gone over there.

Banjer, thanks for bringing it up. You've reminded me. As the saying goes, "Lest we forget".

Thank you

Clifton


15 Nov 00 - 06:14 PM (#341380)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: GUEST,Big Mick

One thing I would like to point out, given the post by Dave the Gnome. Veterans Day doesn't honor the dead of all wars. It honors Veterans from all wars. Memorial Day is where we all honor our war dead. I guess that the day they hold it doesn't bother me. It is the thought that counts. And I don't see much thought, or thoughtful reflection, on the part of the general populace of the States. I don't know about the rest of my brother and sister vets, but I don't feel special or appreciated on Veteran's Day. Most folks don't give it a second thought. Except for the brothers and sisters who served. They are the only ones who continue to march. It doesn't matter whether you approve of war or not, you should honor the warriors. "And the young people ask, what are they marching for.........and I ask myself the same question".

Mick


15 Nov 00 - 06:33 PM (#341389)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

Bick Mick, and others: You would be proud to watch the youngsters in the JROTC at the Dixie Hollins High School in St. Petersburg. They are aware of all the various national holidays and their meanings. I work with the Honor Guard during the school football season. The Honor Guard uses our Civil War reenacting cannon to fire at certain times during the game. The playing of the National Anthem, kick-off, touchdowns, etc. Also they fire at various events, the most recent being Veteran's Day at the local VA Center. These kids also march in various parades. I make it part of each years program, (I've been doing this for about 9 years) to make sure they know the meaning of each of the holidays. They are tommorow's leaders and I feel it is important that we show our young people how these various holidays should be celebrated. They all feel, as do I, that it was not right to wait so long to erect a memorial to those that served in WWII.


15 Nov 00 - 06:56 PM (#341398)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Liz the Squeak

Ah, so the bug is that the memorial has only just been made after 55 years. There are relatives of men shot as cowards and deserters in WWI, 85 years ago, who are still waiting to have them recognised as casualties of war - Shell shock and neuroses victims, these days we call it Post Traumatic Stress syndrome and give 'em disablilty benefit. Those shot as deserters then didn't even get a burial in consecrated ground.

LTS


16 Nov 00 - 05:28 AM (#341590)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

Well, Liz, I wasn't aware of the WWI soldiers that you mention. While this is primarily about the 55 year wait, I feel that ALL soldiers from all American conflicts should be recognized. While being shot for cowardice in the face of the enemy is not an honorable thing, unless one was there feeling what those men were feeling and answering the primary need for survival we should not judge their situation. What I have read of the warfare in the trenches of WWI I can't say that I myself may not have made a hasty retreat to the rear!


16 Nov 00 - 04:10 PM (#341925)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Liz the Squeak

While being shot for cowardice in the face of the enemy is not an honorable thing, unless one was there feeling what those men were feeling and answering the primary need for survival we should not judge their situation. What I have read of the warfare in the trenches of WWI I can't say that I myself may not have made a hasty retreat to the rear! - that's the whole point.... men who were suffering from shell shock, who were medically unfit for duty due to neuroses and suchlike, were given summary courts martial and shot as cowards or deserters. These men were ill, and were forced to carry a gun, get out of a trench and walk across a shell riddled hell. There was one story that I read in a regimental war diary of a soldier, classed as medically unfit, sent back with the correct documents, only to be turned around at the hospital, charged with desertion and shot the next morning, before he had even seen a doctor.

Those are the people still waiting for recognition as soldiers, let alone a memorial.

LTS


16 Nov 00 - 06:44 PM (#342021)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

I UNDERSTAND you point, Liz, that's why I said what I did! We should judge those men because we were not there to see the horrors they faced. Thanks to men like that, yes even the ones who turned and ran, we will never have to face the possible loss of our freedoms. I am all for recognizing all who were there.


16 Nov 00 - 07:11 PM (#342034)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Bat Goddess

Again, there have been memorials before any new one in DC. My cousin, Rick Delugo, was the prime mover and shaker in creating one in California about 10 years ago that also includes veterans of the Korean War. It's Korean vets who have really been totally ignored. Whatever your views on warfare or any particular action on the part of this country (and a lot of our views are colored by the war the United States waged in Vietnam), our veterans of whatever conflict -- WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. up to the Gulf War and beyond -- deserve respect and honor. Save your political disagreements for the politicians.

Bat Goddess


17 Nov 00 - 05:03 AM (#342218)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

Oh my!!! In my last post I MEANT to say 'We should NOT judge those men' Sorry 'bout that. Bat goddess says it very well also. Despite any political leanings, we all owe a great debt to these men, for without their efforts and sacrifices we probably would not be able to have the political freedoms we enjoy today. Regardless what your political views, they made it possible!


17 Nov 00 - 09:32 AM (#342313)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Steve Parkes

Liz (and everyone else) - here's some good news from the Wolverhampton Express & Star

New memorial for shot soldiers
By Heather Slater

An arboretum near Lichfield is the only place in Britain to set up a memorial for soldiers executed during the First World War.

An 8ft 6in statue is in place at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas, to commemorate the 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers shot at dawn by their own side for cowardice and desertion.

Now the arboretum is asking people to "adopt a soldier" to help complete the £6,000 memorial project.

Arboretum staff hope to surround the sculpture with 306 wooden posts, each carrying plaques bearing the names of executed soldiers.

The sculpture was donated free of charge by Birmingham artist Andy Decomyn but the posts and landscaping will cost £6,000. Funding will be possible if enough people adopt a soldier for £20.

Jackie Fisher, of the National Memorial Arboretum Appeal, said: "The monument is there, not to pass judgement upon what happened, but because all those who were executed have been recognised as victims of the war.

"The stigma of their execution has been removed from them and from their families.

"The arboretum is there to help future generations enjoy the trees but also to reflect upon what happened in the war.

"Those men are part of that story and are still victims of war."

The monument has been sited on the banks of the River Tame, the first place where dawn breaks over the arboretum.

The statue is modelled on Private Herbert Burden, of the 1st Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who was shot at dawn for desertion aged 17.

John Hipkin, of the national Shot At Dawn campaign, is battling the Government in a bid to win a pardon for executed soldiers.

Mr Hipkin said Alrewas was the only place in the country to have a memorial to executed soldiers.


17 Nov 00 - 06:43 PM (#342681)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

Good news Steve!!! Let us hope that starts a movement that will spread to this country as well. What does one do, how does one get the ball rolling on a project like this?


18 Nov 00 - 03:15 AM (#342858)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: GUEST,chanteyranger

It's interesting that the national Korean war memorial was sculpted before a WWII memorial is seen on the mall. So, they are starting to get their due. The forgotten war at least has something, but the Korean veterans really do need more recognition. There are so many conflicts and tragedies that are just not in our consciousness enough yet. The millions that perished in China under Imperial Japanese warfare and rule, and later, under Mao's Great Leap Forward, and the forgotten holocaust involving the slaughter of millions of Armenians at the hands of the Turkish government, to name just three.

Banjer, I don't know anything about lobbying Congress (and as a federal employee, I can't) but public discussions such as these can only help raise public awareness of the need for national recognition of our veterans of various conflicts.

-chanteyranger


18 Nov 00 - 06:21 AM (#342882)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Liz the Squeak

Don't forget the Brits who were in Korea (2nd Batt. Devon & Dorset Regiment amongst others) as well, they're still waiting too.

LTS


18 Nov 00 - 06:21 AM (#342883)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Liz the Squeak

Don't forget the Brits who were in Korea (2nd Batt. Devon & Dorset Regiment amongst others) as well, they're still waiting too.

LTS


18 Nov 00 - 07:09 AM (#342894)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Banjer

Wouldn't it be great if all the free countries of the world would recognize not just their own, but all members of all the world's armed forces that gave their all for freedom. That would, hopefuly, go a long way towards preventing any future conflicts. I suppose that in order to get the ball rolling on something like this a flood of letters to several members of congress would be a start.


20 Nov 00 - 03:38 AM (#343804)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: Steve Parkes

I mentioned the German military cemetery earlier. It's for German soldiers, sailors, airmen, who died on British soil in the two World Wars; mostly Zeppelin and aeroplane crews. It does make you think differently when you go there.

Steve


20 Nov 00 - 07:39 AM (#343865)
Subject: RE: WWII Memorial, finally!
From: The Walrus at work

Don't forget the Brits who were in Korea (2nd Batt. Devon & Dorset Regiment amongst others) as well, they're still waiting too.

If we're naming Regiments, Remember also the "Glorious Gloucesters", "The Diehards" (the Middlesex Regiment) and the DLI.

Liz,

I think you'll find that there is a UK memorial to the Korean War vetrans in St Paul's.

Regards

Walrus