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"The War" (by Ken Burns) Part 4 of 7; Airing on PBS @ 7PM Central 9-26-07
pbs.org ^ | undated | PBS staff

Posted on 09/26/2007 2:30:49 PM PDT by VOA

This is a "heads-up" for the airing of "The War", the Ken Burns
(Florentine Films) production on PBS.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: documentary; kenburns; pbs; thewar; wwii
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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Please see following posts for URL links to the discussion threads for
Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the series.

VOA's boilerplate from prior threads)
All commentary regarding personal experience, family tales of WWII,
and critique of how Burns (and PBS) handles topics are welcome.

Hopefully the threads on the seven episodes will serve as
guides when this large documentary becomes required viewing in
high schools.
Comments on how Burns handled the documenatry (positive,
negative, or neutral) will come in handy when "the younger
generation" sees the series. Especially if Burns takes a
"Smithsonian" tact to some topics...leaving people to wonder
"who the good guys were" during the epic struggle.
1 posted on 09/26/2007 2:30:56 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA

Links to discussion threads on Parts 1, 2 and 3, as well as other useful links.

URL for thread on Part 1
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1901006/posts?page=1

URL for thread on Part 2 (Monday 9-24-07)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1901629/posts

URL for thread on Part 3 (Tuesday 9-25-07)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1902083/posts?page=1

URLs for PBS websites:
URL to check listing for local PBS stations:
http://www.pbs.org/thewar/broadcast_schedule.htm

PBS website for Ken Burns’ “The War”
http://www.pbs.org/thewar/?campaign=pbshomefeatures_1_thewarbrakenburnsfilm_2007-09-23

Summary of Part 4 at PBS website:
http://www.pbs.org/thewar/about_episode_guide_04.htm


2 posted on 09/26/2007 2:34:14 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA

Great series so far. Mrs. Singer is superb (accent and all). There is no question that there was racism and racial disparity during the war and afterward. If Burns is going to dwell on that he should put it into perspective of how it affected the war effort. We already know such bad behavior existed. The number one aspect of WWII was the heroism of an entire generation, not their treatment of another race. Those that died did so for every man woman and child in the country. Whether they knew it or not.


3 posted on 09/26/2007 2:39:23 PM PDT by groanup (Limited government is the answer. What's the question?)
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To: VOA

bump for publicity


4 posted on 09/26/2007 2:39:36 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA
I've only seen one hour of this series, last night.

I liked some of the personal touches, albeit they were cliched and really heavy handed.

I didn't like the way segregation and racism were presented. Sure, they existed. However, Burns made it sound like blacks showed up to fight, and were deliberately kept out of it by the white brass. There was only one throwaway comment given by Patton in favor of them fighting.

I think that there are plenty of black units that would disagree. And I also think that the men of the RedBall Express (not even mentioned) would *really* disagree. The RedBall Express transported the supplies that kept the Allies fighting until Monty got off his butt, took Antwerp and cleared the Schwelde Estuary. Ever seen a truck convoy shot up by airpower? These guys faced that danger every day.

I doubt that I'll be watching any more of the show. Will flip on Band of Brothers instead.

5 posted on 09/26/2007 2:43:16 PM PDT by wbill
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To: groanup

Thanks for checking in.

Tonight is supposed to be D-Day (and more Pacific Theater island-hopping).

Burns has done a decent job with a ponderous constellation of subject.
(But, my inexpert feeling is he could have spent about one-half the
time he has on “those were the bad old days of America”.)


6 posted on 09/26/2007 2:44:34 PM PDT by VOA
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To: wbill
I doubt that I'll be watching any more of the show. Will flip on
Band of Brothers instead.


I'll "soldier on" despite the down-sides up to this point.

That way I'll be able to critique it (from having seen it) when my
young niece and friends have to sit through it in high-school
history class.

I wish the guy who did the now-embargoed "The Path to 9-11" had
done this series instead of Burns.
7 posted on 09/26/2007 2:47:30 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA

bump for publicity


8 posted on 09/26/2007 2:49:35 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA
Good luck.

I'm sure that if the rest of the series paints the US in as bad a light as the bit I saw, it will be required viewing in all public schools.

My grandfather helped to liberate Dachau (I think, he only told the story to me once, and I really, really wish I had been old enough to know to pay better attention....). At any rate, his comment to me was that after seeing the camp, he had no doubts as to who the good guys were, or why he was in Europe.

I'm not sayin' that there weren't any problems with that generation, I'm just sayin' that the generation wasn't all about the problems.

9 posted on 09/26/2007 2:56:06 PM PDT by wbill
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To: VOA

I will watch as well, but I have been sorely disappointed so far. Even though I had been conditioned to expect something of a victim fest, I was surprised that it is clearly the central theme. I suppose that he will find some way to downplay and demean VE and VJ Days, winning does not seem to be fashionable these days.


10 posted on 09/26/2007 3:00:28 PM PDT by centurion316 (Democrats - Supporting Al Qaida Worldwide)
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To: wbill
I remember when I was in Sunday School, probably around 1970, maybe when I was 10 years old, Mr. Blair came in and talked to us about WWII and how he had helped to liberate concentration camps. He looked like a tough guy but he was clearly moved by what he had seen. I was way too young to really understand, or to thank him.

I didn't quite "get it" at the time. But I've forgotten it.

11 posted on 09/26/2007 3:01:43 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: centurion316
Even though I had been conditioned to expect something of a victim fest,
I was surprised that it is clearly the central theme.


I hope some reputable group like The Media Research Center does an
intense anaylsis of the series.

At the rate it's going I get the feeling (without analyzing) that
PBS and Burns decided "no more than 30 minutes of real war documentary
between each "America was awful then" gripe-session".

I'm all for mentioning the downsides for some of our citizens who
got a raw deal while serving honorably.
I guess Burns thought "only college professors, some Ivy League students
and Dennis Kuchinich (sp?) would watch if I had ONLY the gripe-sessions
in a documentary on WWII".
12 posted on 09/26/2007 3:12:48 PM PDT by VOA
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To: ClearCase_guy

My brother said that one day towards the end of a spring semester, an
older prof told the class to put down their pencils...and spent the next hour
telling them about his “free Grand Tour of Europe” from Normandy to Germany.

My brother, in his late 20s was probably the oldest student.
He said the younguns looked like they had been hit with a stick after the
hour was over.


13 posted on 09/26/2007 3:17:10 PM PDT by VOA
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To: ClearCase_guy
I didn't quite "get it" at the time. ....me either. I was 13 or 14. Figured that Grandpa would live forever (wrong) and that he'd teach a lesson so important more than once (wrong again).

If anything, I'm going to make sure my boys don't make the same mistake with my Dad. We'll see.

I've learned about most of Grandpa's war experiences after his death, either through conversations with his men (Grandmother used to get calls asking for "The Captain" all the time) or through his papers + correspondence with the War Dept.

14 posted on 09/26/2007 3:17:44 PM PDT by wbill
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To: VOA

last bump for publicity by VOA...
gotta go away until 9PM Central!


15 posted on 09/26/2007 3:17:49 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA
Bound to show this photo>

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The paratrooper who has the number 23 on his chest is my FRiends Uncle John McGuire. He made it through Normandy as well as Arhnime (Bridge Too Far), and The Bulge.

He came home and lived in Nutley, NJ until his recent death.

16 posted on 09/26/2007 3:19:35 PM PDT by mware (By all that you hold dear..on this good earth... I bid you stand! Men of the West!)
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To: VOA

Yes, Cyrus Nowrasteh would have done a superb documentary, including the reasoning behind Japanese internment in the West, and how the discouraging WWII experiences among Blacks started the much-needed change towards desegregation.


17 posted on 09/26/2007 3:39:11 PM PDT by Snapping Turtle (Slow down and get a grip!)
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To: wbill
“the men of the RedBall Express (not even mentioned)” ...........Keep watching, they haven’t reached late 1944 yet. The series is going year by year. I’m waiting to see if they mention the treatment of GI’s in Japanese PW camps where they ate their prisoners and randomly killed them.
18 posted on 09/26/2007 3:45:07 PM PDT by Bringbackthedraft
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To: VOA

My opinion of Ken Burn’s latest: more liberal revisionist spin. Using todays multiculturalism as a yardstick for the second world war era.


19 posted on 09/26/2007 3:45:24 PM PDT by sasportas
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To: VOA

I liked the first two episodes but found last night’s very disappointing. Way too much emphasis on the social injustices in the U.S. at the time and not enough on the war itself and individual heroism of the participants. Plus our military victories were glossed over very quickly while our difficuties and mistakes were expounded upon at length. The average hour-long History Channel WW2 show is more interesting and balanced.


20 posted on 09/26/2007 3:52:35 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo ("Hidin' in a corner ...of New York City, lookin' down a .44 in West Virginy")
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To: VOA; 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten; 359Henrie; 6323cd; 75thOVI; Adrastus; A message; AnAmericanMother; ...
To all: please ping me to threads that are relevant to the MilHist list (and/or) please add the keyword "MilHist" to the appropriate thread. Thanks in advance.

Please FREEPMAIL indcons if you want on or off the "Military History (MilHist)" ping list.

21 posted on 09/26/2007 3:59:17 PM PDT by indcons
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To: VOA

Not nearly as well done or informative as “Civil War”.

Trying to show that the “Greatest Generation” were nothing but a bunch of racists.


22 posted on 09/26/2007 4:14:51 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Democrat Happens!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

There was a kid in my 6th grade class at Jefferson Elementary School in the Wayne Michigan Community School District (1959) who was enamored with the swastika. He was forever carving it into desk tops, drawing it on books and paper. Our teacher, Mr. George Smith, who had fought in Europe finally nailed the kid. He impressed upon the kid that he would not have a hand to make those kinds of designs if he caught him again, nobody ran home to limp wrist daddy in those days about such things. The kid never did it again in that class.


23 posted on 09/26/2007 4:15:12 PM PDT by RushLake (Democrats/MSM have never met a terrorist they didn't like.)
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To: VOA
My brother said that one day towards the end of a spring semester, an older prof told the class to put down their pencils...and spent the next hour telling them about his “free Grand Tour of Europe” from Normandy to Germany.

I experienced something like that from a history professor, even though the course material was supposed to cover medieval Europe. I think a large number of men became educators after seeing so much death. Many years later, they set aside time to tell those stories - even though so many of them are usually tight-lipped about their experiences.

My fifth-grade teacher was also a WWII vet who served in the Navy. I knew he was former military before he said anything about it - the ramrod-straight posture is a sure giveaway. I used to smile at his occasional reference to the "Nipponese". Long after I moved on to high school, he was named the state's poet laureate. A few of his poems offer glimpses into what the Pacific was like, 1941-45.

We are losing those men and women so rapidly now... God bless every last one of them.

24 posted on 09/26/2007 4:16:05 PM PDT by Charles Martel (The Tree of Liberty thirsts.)
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To: mware
God bless him and all his mates.

My dad was there too, but nothing so exciting as D-Day - N. Africa, Sicily, Anzio (but he was a combat engineer and thus didn't go in until the worst was over), and the Winter War in N. Italy 43-44. He had a couple of close calls, was so slightly wounded he didn't even bother to apply for a PH, and came home to start a family and a business. He's still kickin' at almost 83!

25 posted on 09/26/2007 4:16:21 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: wbill

The entire series is WAY too superficial; and, in the rush to get through, the history suffers.


26 posted on 09/26/2007 4:18:04 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: VOA
At the rate it's going I get the feeling (without analyzing) that PBS and Burns decided "no more than 30 minutes of real war documentary between each "America was awful then" gripe-session".

I tape the show and FF when the home front is shown especially Manzinar and Mobile.

27 posted on 09/26/2007 4:18:38 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Democrat Happens!)
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To: wbill
However, Burns made it sound like blacks showed up to fight, and were deliberately kept out of it by the white brass.

Actually, with a very few notable exceptions like the Tuskegee Airman, which practically took a Presidential intervention to get into combat, that's exactly what happened. Black troops were segregated and kept in support units.

I agree with you that those black support units, such as those doing outstanding work on the Red Ball Express, performed very well and should be honored for their service.

It's an important part of the story. The WWII experience directly lead to post-war movements for rights for women and blacks. People saw women doing "mens work" and running households alone. It was hard to deny that the few blacks who got to combat performed superbly, leading to the desegregation of the Army right after the War. And Americans, black and white, from the North and West saw for the first time and first hand race segregation when they were stationed in the South. It had a profound effect on many.

It's part of our past. As President Bush has observed, it's part of the paradox how a slaveholding society became the primary beacon of freedom in the world.

28 posted on 09/26/2007 4:21:24 PM PDT by colorado tanker (I'm unmoderated - just ask Bill O'Reilly)
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To: colorado tanker
I was pleased to see that Patton had his priorities straight.

"I don't care what color they are as long as they kill those kraut sons of bitches!"

29 posted on 09/26/2007 4:25:49 PM PDT by Publius (A = A)
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To: Mike Darancette

I too was getting disappointed with all of the negatives. Then I looked at it from another direction. Mr Burns is trying to show all of the negatives; segregation, internment, and botched attacks, not to show how bad America was. He’s showing all of the negatives to show how far people went to win. Thousands died from botched war plans and we still soldiered on to win. Thousands suffered from racism and we still soldiered on to win.

Compare that with today’s war on terror. No draft. Very little racism. No rationing. No one forced to do anything different in their lives unless they want to. And 40% of the country are a bunch of p-—ies who want us to lose.


30 posted on 09/26/2007 4:31:11 PM PDT by american_ranger (Never ever use DirecTV)
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To: american_ranger
Fighting Under World War II Rules
31 posted on 09/26/2007 4:33:51 PM PDT by Publius (A = A)
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To: VOA
Sorry VOA. Burns is too much of a hate the USA and a history revisionist for this Red White and Blue American. He is the type of puke that would view the Constitution as something to change with the times.

He is profiteering off the graves of brave men by using war department footage to disparage them...

32 posted on 09/26/2007 4:51:13 PM PDT by tubebender (disparage them.)
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To: american_ranger

To what purpose was it mentioned that Carlson’s Raiders murdered Japanese prisoners in retribution for some of their dead at Guadalcanal?


33 posted on 09/26/2007 4:53:21 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Democrat Happens!)
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To: Publius
Well, Patton had conflicted feelings about black troops, but he needed troops and was willing to give them a shot at proving themselves, which was pretty advanced thinking for the era. There are some less flattering Patton quotes about black tankers that Burns could have used, but didn't, to his credit IMHO.

BTW, the unit Patton was talking about was the Black Panthers. One of their number, a Lt. Jack Robinson, in dress uniform, hopped a bus near their training base in the South to go to town. As a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army he refused an order to go to the back of the bus. His commander refused a court-martial referral from the M.P.'s. Robinson was transferred to another black tank battalion where the commander was willing to press charges, but he was acquitted. He never did see combat, but after the war decided to play a little baseball. The rest, as they say, is history . . . .

34 posted on 09/26/2007 4:55:43 PM PDT by colorado tanker (I'm unmoderated - just ask Bill O'Reilly)
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To: VOA

All,
The one gentlemen around 20 minutes into tonight’s Part 4 mentioned something about a toothpaste tube like vessel with a reversible sharp end or something. I couldn’t understand parts of it — what he called it for example.

But it sounded like a a suicide device should a man find himself in a hopeless situation. A lethal solution inside a toothpaste tube-like delivery system.

Did anyone catch that and did I get the drift of it?
It didn’t sound like he was referring to a slug of self-administered morphine. Or maybe it was morphine, but a fatal dosage.


35 posted on 09/26/2007 5:37:30 PM PDT by Interious
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To: Interious

I am watching it delayed and just saw that part. It was a syrette of moriphine


36 posted on 09/26/2007 5:46:29 PM PDT by american_ranger (Never ever use DirecTV)
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To: Publius
Last year when I told my WW II era mother I was getting married, she was pleased, but she sharply reminded me that a large wedding was inappropriate during wartime when our men were fighting and dying. I couldn't help myself; I started to laugh, since my groom was one of those soldiers.

Does anybody think in those terms any more?

37 posted on 09/26/2007 5:46:50 PM PDT by Fiona MacKnight
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To: american_ranger

“I am watching it delayed and just saw that part. It was a syrette of moriphine”

Ah—thanks. Must not have been a lethal brew.

I’m 20 min behind myself, jockeying between FR and the show.


38 posted on 09/26/2007 5:52:10 PM PDT by Interious
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To: sneakers

bttt


39 posted on 09/26/2007 5:59:43 PM PDT by sneakers (This Pennsylvania gal supports DUNCAN HUNTER for President!)
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To: VOA

Sorry, but I think it’s a pitiful series. I’ve only watched about 50-60%, but haven’t seen much to indicate that we were fighting Fascism and Nazism, or really that any useful purpose was served by our soldiers’ fighting. Mr. Burns seems not to noticed what the war was really about, so I choose not to notice Mr. Burns any more.


40 posted on 09/26/2007 6:30:34 PM PDT by No_judicial_elites
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To: groanup
I don't like to watch PBS. Saw part of yesterday's episode and it was OK. Nothing special.
41 posted on 09/26/2007 6:35:33 PM PDT by Ukiapah Heep (Shoes for Industry!)
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To: All
So far I think the series is a good one. Watching different accounts we can always learn something. Fortunately, a significant part of this series is the words of the Veterans and Americans in general themselves. Thats a good thing.

Curious, any WWII veterans or historians out there have an idea or stats of how many Americans didn’t want to join the services during WWII?

42 posted on 09/26/2007 7:26:53 PM PDT by msnpatriot (Free Republic is my 1st stop!....After that check out my 'Political Watercooler' on googlegroups...)
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To: indcons

Thanks indcons. I hope Ken’s next documentary is about the Spanish conquests of the late 15th-early 16th centuries. ;’)


43 posted on 09/26/2007 7:43:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Wednesday, September 12, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: wbill

Well put.


44 posted on 09/26/2007 7:44:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Wednesday, September 12, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: colorado tanker
And Americans, black and white, from the North and West saw for the first time and first hand race segregation when they were stationed in the South. It had a profound effect on many.

Huh? Do you honestly think that there was no segregation and discrimination in the North and the West before and during the war?

45 posted on 09/26/2007 7:45:48 PM PDT by groanup (Limited government is the answer. What's the question?)
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To: colorado tanker; groanup

“And Americans, black and white, from the North and West saw for
the first time and first hand race segregation when they were stationed
in the South.”

Statistically, that probably is most of the story.

But it’s not ALL of the story.

As even Burns (a mild tip of the hat to him) listed a number of
locations in last night’s Part 3 on racial strife...and some of those
locales were most decidedly ABOVE the Mason-Dixon Line.

Well, I guess if I’m going to ding Burns for spending maybe about double
the air-time he need to make his points about how G-d-awful America was
during WWII...
I should give him credit for admitting it was NOT a 100% “Southern thing”.


46 posted on 09/26/2007 8:03:41 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Fiona MacKnight
Does anybody think in those terms any more?

Uh, your mom.
And almost surely my mom.

Age 9 at Pearl Harbor, she tells me how listening to the rather
strained talk of the adults got her worried that the Japanese
were going to making strike her home.
In a little town in north-central Oklahoma.
47 posted on 09/26/2007 8:08:13 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA

Ah, the radio message of D-Day by Robert St. John.
I saw a documentary on him. IIRC, he lost his job at NBC during
the Red Scare (he was a leftie).
BUT, then ended up as a reporter from and an advocate for Israel.
In that regard he was a different kind of leftist than the ones
we endure in the USA today.


48 posted on 09/26/2007 8:19:52 PM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA

OK, a tip of the hat to Burns for including all the “thanksgiving”
observances as news of D-Day spread in the USA.
And even the religious services got acknowleged.

Wow....
Burns even included FDR’s “imprecatory” (sp?) D-Day Prayer.
I wonder who at “Florentine Films” went to bat to air FDR’s voice
intoning “Almighty G-d,...”.


49 posted on 09/26/2007 8:24:10 PM PDT by VOA
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To: msnpatriot

“Fortunately, a significant part of this series is the words of the Veterans and Americans in general themselves. Thats a good thing.”

I agree. Tuesday night’s episode was very slow moving. Tonight’s was better.

As tonight’s program wrapped up, I prayed and as God to use it to open the eyes of my fellow Americans. Perhaps this series (even with some of its liberal bias) can be used to help people see the necessity of fighting through to victory.

My heart is so heavy when I hear the traitorous remarks of many in our nation’s capital who want to turn tail and run from the enemy of freedom we now face.

I was heartened to hear the final song in tonight’s program pay tribute to Americans. Yes, America is a force for good in the world. The bravery and courage of our soldiers—past and present—bear witness to our love of liberty. Not only do these courageous souls fight and die for us, but they do so by the thousands for people they don’t know. God bless every one.


50 posted on 09/26/2007 8:29:37 PM PDT by freedom4me ("Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom."--Ben Franklin)
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