The Great Crusade, 66 years on.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by scoutpilot, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I am ashamed we got this late in the day without a commemoration...

    "Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world..."

    [​IMG]

    Gory, gory, what a hell of a way to die!
    He ain't gonna jump no more!
     
  2. TacticalNuke

    TacticalNuke Administrator

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  3. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    I always get kind of cynical when I hear these kinds of speeches lmao
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Son- there are times when not saying the first thing that comes into your head is a virtue. The couple of moments immediately prior to your last post would have fit that description.

    Do you have any sense of history? Do you have any appreciation for the world of 1944? Do you know what the world had gone thru since 1938? Do you have any idea how much leadership needed to be exerted to steady an Anglo American coalition that was terrified of the possible failure associated with landing on the mainland of Europe?
    An 18 year old has very little cause to be cycnical and only one with a truly limited historical perspective would choose this particular subject and claim that the speech made a few hours after the first allied troops landed on Normandy in one of the great historical gambles of modern history would make him "cynical". :bang:
     
  5. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Oh, but of course, why wouldn't you? With all the worldly knowledge you've gained in our sixteen or seventeen years on the planet, you're certainly in a position to "laugh your *** off" at a message sent to thousands who sacrificed their lives 66 years ago.

    Grow up, kid. Seriously...if you want any shot at becoming a service academy graduate, grow the hell up. You aren't even close to being ready for any kind of commitment to leading soldiers. Your attitude isn't worthy of such an honor.
     
  6. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah...I'm gonna have to agree with ya'll on this one.

    I think of what it had to have been like...I remember the first night of Desert Storm and the briefings we received...and that was SO small compared to this!!

    FYI...for our young friend, he might recognize some actors of fame...

    James Doohan - Scotty of Star Trek Fame?
    (Juno Beach on 6 June 1944)

    Charles Durning - TOO many acting roles to mention here
    (Omaha Beach on 6 June 1944, Silver Star, Bronze Star, 3 Purple Hearts, one of three survivors of the Malmedy Massacre)

    Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Henry Fonda, the list is long and illustrious. And they all served, giving up their lucrative lives, because of speeches like that given by the President and others...to make our country what it is today.

    Unfortunately our young friend probably has not been taught this in our public school system.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Perhaps an explanation is warranted...Chockstock?

    Too many times, people try to give significance to something that does not warrant it. June 6th, 1944 was NOT one of those days.
     
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    scoutpilot - thanks for the post.

    My oldest, a bonafide history geek, announced first thing yesterday morning - It's D-Day. I need to check when my favorite movie "The Longest Day" is on.
    Lo and behold - it was not showing on any of our cable channels at all. What a disappointment.

    Chockstock - I suggest you put this movie on your Netflix list.

    PS - anyone see the Peanuts cartoon yesterday?
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Better yet, put your money where your mouth is. Come to visit the Blackhearts here and walk into their headquarters, read the transcript of that message in the display case, and announce to them how cynical it makes you. I'm sure they'd love to hear it.
     
  10. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    Let's not jump to conclusions...if I was truly serious about becoming an officer and serving the country I would never, ever show disrespect to veterans or those who are in the service today. My grandpa is a Korean War vet. He underwent surgery several years ago over injuries he was inflicted in that war. It would be suicidal to truly offend anyone related to the military, over the internet or not. Beyond being suicidal, its just wrong. My "cynicism" is not and would never be directed towards those men in that picture and the many hundreds of thousands of other men who gave their lives in that war and the tens of thousands that have done so in later conflicts. Its an emotion that is separate from my respect to veterans and it came out pretty wrong that day due to RL reasons.

    It has nothing to do with it being a WWII speech at all. Many speeches given in the early to mid 20th century trumpeting brotherhood, freedom, liberty, respect...sometimes just feels like empty words. The reason why I felt cynical is because up until the late 20th century, America stood for values that were only words printed on paper and not in practice. Segregation, racism, internment camps, and the pure evil that still gripped the country even as a war that pledged to resolve these issues raged on...I don't have to describe them again, but I can share with you two links (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Kuroki)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_experiment) that make my heart wrench. As R-Day looms nearer, I've been thinking hard about what it means to be an American, what this country really stands for, and if I can live up to what I may be someday asked to do. And even though I wasn't even alive decades ago, I feel guilty for this nation's mistakes of the past.

    Yes, I know. I could have read the speech and just ignored my honest reaction to it and written a generic, patriotic post. You could say I'm too sensitive to these kinds of things. Obviously our country is not what it was 60years ago. But I felt that my gut reaction to the big picture of it all was far from patriotic and writing what I felt in a deeper way (which I should have done) would be more genuine. Yep, I made a big deal out it and I apologize that I made some bloods boil without sufficient explanation. And here I am, pouring my heart out again over something so insignificant. An abridged version of this post probably would have been more appropriate with the first comment...I was having an emotional day the day before and, being the really mature person I am, I decided to kind of vent my teenage hormonal sadness on an internet forum. Sorry.
     
  11. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Did anyone hear the President's comments regarding the 66th anniversary of June 6, 1944??? There wasn't even an official statement on the White House's web page.

    From the AP: "Obama addressed an enthusiastic crowd at the annual Ford's Theatre gala Sunday, where South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and South African Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs received the theater's Lincoln Medal.

    Tutu spoke on the global need for peace and respect and spoke of the current conflicts in the Middle East. 'Security is not something that comes out of the barrel of a gun.' he told the crowd."

    Kind of an ironic statement on the anniversary of D-Day.
     
  12. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I didn't know Durning was at Malmedy. I did know about Omaha Beach, though. He used to speak sometimes at the Memorial Day concert on the National Mall and it appeared to always be an emotional event for him. Luckily, he has been able to provide us with humor over the years in his movies and in TV roles, so hopefully that has been a way for him to deal with the inner scars left from battle in ETO. I, for one, will be very sad when Charles Durning leaves us. He is an inspiration.
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    So, let me get this straight...you took a slot at the US Military Academy yet you don't know if you're serious about serving the nation as an officer? :confused::mad:

    Yeah, I remember being a teenager. I knew everything then, too.

    My honest advice, without malice, is that you need to grow up in a hurry. USMA is going to eat your lunch if you don't get your emotions in check and get a handle on what truly is the "big picture."

    The world is too busy and our nation's challenges are too great for you or anyone else who has been granted so much to go around moping about things that happened generations before your time. My wife is a Jew but she doesn't go about blaming Pharoah for the weeds in our lawn, nor does she expect the Bundestag to send yearly apologies. Some emotions we, as a species, have to get over. There is a keen difference between remembering the past as a learning point and being needlessly maudlin over cultural norms and injustices which have since been relegated to the dustbin of debunked ideas after being well-dissected by a more enlightened populace.

    Humanity, as a whole, was very different even 50 years ago, and even our own nation was just beginning to understand our capability and our responsibility. Remember that younger people, like you and your new classmates, are charged with moving our nation FORWARD, not being crybabies over the distasteful facts of a bygone era.
     
  14. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I think, maybe, if you had explained some of this in the first post, you would not have gotten the full ire of some of the members of the forums. You would have gotten ire, no doubt, but that is always a risk when you share an unpopular opinion. I don't begrudge your cynicism, although I think your points are misguided.

    FWIW, America in the 1940s was far from perfect for all the reasons you mentioned. I think, though, that the world which we enjoy today would not have been possible without the sacrifices done in the Second World War. As problematic as America was in terms of race relations etc., it didn't hold a candle to the horrors perpetrated by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. This doesn't excuse the internment of Japanese-Americans, it doesn't excuse the fact that African-Americans could only serve in limited capacities and faced discrimination, and it doesn't excuse anything else that would reflect the imperfections of American society in that time period. America isn't a perfect society now, either; however, because of the sacrifices made in the 1940s, we are a lot closer to one than we would be had the contributions of the 400,000 Americans who died in WWII (and the millions who served) not have been made. I think, no matter how you analyze it, a world in which Hitler emerged victorious is not a world in which the USA could continue to exist as a democracy. In that sense, the hopes of freedom-loving peoples certainly did rest on the shoulders of the Allied Expeditionary Force.

    It isn't as simple as that of course, Stalin's USSR was not a place for freedom-loving people, and his part of the victory in WWII made Eastern Europe suffer for the next 50 years. Nonetheless, the sentiments in General Eisenhower's speech are honest, and while I can understand your feelings about America's problems in the 1940s, I ask you to consider what the alternative would have been. The Allies who fought and died in WWII did save the world for democracy, and allowed America to evolve into what it is today.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  15. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    I wonder how many of those guys never saw another sunrise? :frown:
     
  16. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    That's gonna leave a mark! :eek:


    ETA: And so are some of the subsequent responses! :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  17. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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  18. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    From official sources for June 6th 1944: Operation Neptune: 13,100 Dropped by 101st & 82nd.

    On the first day.

    101st: 182 KIA, 557 WIA, 501 MIA

    82nd: 156 KIA, 347 WIA, 756 MIA

    19% casualties at night when no one knew where they were and most were wandering around and trying to find some unit cohesion.

    By June 30th:

    101st: 546 KIA, 2,217 WIA, 1,907 MIA

    82nd: 455 KIA, 1,440 WIA, 2,583 MIA.

    70% casualties in 24 days.
    Makes you think about those men who stood up at Valley Forge, Chapultapec, Fredricksburg, Cemetary Ridge, Belleau Wood, Normandy, Bastogne etc.... We make them few and far between in the current century.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  19. plmmar

    plmmar Member

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    It's comments like the one this young man made that make me wonder what is being taught kids today.

    Patriotism is not taught.
    Apologizing for being an American is in vogue.

    My DS's were given M1 Garands as high school graduation gifts. Their grandfather made a special trip just to present them and supplied them will all the facts and history that surrounded them.
    They are proud of them.
    DS was showing a friend his prize gift one day. The friend's comment?
    "It's unnecessary":eek:
    What the heck did that mean?:mad:

    Of course, his friend does not understand that this "unnecessary" item
    was exactly necessary at the time and helped to allow him to live in the country we have today.
     
  20. sprog

    sprog Member

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    While I disagree with Chockstock's opinion, I don't think he is unpatriotic for pointing out the disparities in American life in the 1940s. I think he shouldn't feel guilty or cynical; however, he certainly should recognize the good and bad parts of our history. Pointing out the bad does not make him unpatriotic, and the fact that he is going to USMA certainly suggests that he is a young man who loves his country and wants to serve (or so I would hope).

    Before we decry a lack of patriotic values in education, let's try and remember what patriotism actually means. Here is what Frederick Douglass had to say about it:

    "I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins."

    This isn't the track this thread was meant to take, I'm sure. So I'll leave this thread by giving my thanks to the veterans of WWII, who did nothing less than save the world.
     

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