Skip to comments.D-Day + 70 Years: Looking For The Right Words
Posted on 06/08/2014 5:08:39 AM PDT by Kaslin
There are some days when a column comes easy, when it just flows out in one straight series of fingers tapping on keys, a click on save, and calling it a day. Most days, in fact. Then there are other days when there are so many ideas, so many things you want to say, floating around in your head that the task of organizing them seems impossible. Its Friday night, June 6th, the 70th anniversary of what I consider to be the most important day in modern history, and I have no idea what to write.
The idea of weighing in on a news issue of the week seems small today. The presidents regulatory power grab to destroy the coal industry, White House lies about an Army deserter, the latest depressing economic data, all of it pales in comparison to what those 150,000+ men willingly faced seven decades ago.
As I type this Im drinking a glass of expensive single-malt scotch over a ball of ice and watching Band of Brothers. Im normally a vodka drinker, having had an unfortunate night involving a girl, a party and mass quantities of whisky early in my underage drinking career. This came to involve punching my car door, breaking my hand, sneaking into bed only to discover the next morning that the Ace Bandage Id wrapped it in the night before hadnt fixed the problem, then having to ask my parents for the Blue Cross card because Id tripped over a dog at a friends house. To make matters worse, my fiberglass cast smelled like what nature had forced me to purge 12 hours earlier, so I had a reminder of my stupidity wafting past my nose for six weeks.
I doubt my deception fooled my parents, but they were kind enough not to question it, having seen Id suffered enough and would for the next month and a half.
After that Id sworn off whisky. The smell was enough to make me nauseated. But years passed and, against my better judgment and many previous refusals of invitations, I was persuaded to try the good stuff. And it was good. It never occurred to me that all whisky didnt taste like paint thinner, only the ones I could afford did.
Why am I telling you this? Because I cant think of what to write. I want to write about D-Day, but nothing I could say would ever do justice to those amazing men and what they accomplished. What do you say about the men who ensured your ability to say it? How do you thank people for going through Hell so those who come after them dont have to?
Thank you is the best our language has come up with, but truly fitting words have yet to be created.
The truth is we can thank them individually, and we should, every chance we get for as long as were blessed to have them with us. But that will never be enough. Enough, if there is such a thing, is living lives worthy of their sacrifice, by living up to the ideas for which they fought and died.
And by that measure, we arent doing so well.
CNN released a poll this week showing 59 percent of Americans believe the American Dream is out of reach, unattainable. Another survey found 52 percent felt they had to make at least one major sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last three years.
What constituted a major sacrifice to those surveyed? Well, These sacrifices include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools. Im old enough to remember when such things were considered choices. Now theyre sacrifices, and were all victims.
A woman who lives in the progressive bastion of Austin, Texas, was quoted in a story on high property taxes there as saying, Its not because I dont like paying taxes. I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I cant afford to live here anymore. Ill protest my appraisal notice, but thats not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.
Shes voted for everything an ever-expanding government had to offer, and she doesnt understand why government needs so much money to pay for it all. Cant somebody else catch this check?
Choices are now sacrifices, 60 percent have given up hope, and people want the government to do more and more for them and for someone else to pay for it.
The government is growing at the expense of personal responsibility and individual liberty. The tyranny those men pushed back against 70 years ago is still alive and well today, only rather than winning through force its winning at the ballot box.
Someone asked my on Twitter the other day if those brave men couldve seen the future, what were becoming, would they have done it again? Yes, they would have. The present has failed them, not the other way around. The American Dream isnt dead, but the dreamer is dying. If we dont recapture the spirit in those men who defeated the greatest evil the world has ever known and reclaim responsibility for our lives, it will die.
We stand here in the United States on the shoulders of the greatest generation to ever grace the Earth. It will be impossible for future generations to stand on our shoulders if were lying on our backs.
I dont know if any of us ever will be able to lead lives worthy of the sacrifice. But if we dont try
shame on us.
Allow THEM the earned right to determine who is an enemy and who isn't ...
Allow THEM the earned right to attempt to bring America back to what they left 70 plus years ago and went off to war to protect from what HAS happened anyway to their beloved country ...
Allow THEM the earned right to sleep with their fathers knowing they've done a good and effective job in maintaining peace in our land, free from communism (their thought and mindset) and free to come and go as we always used to please ...
Allow THEM their dignity and respect for becoming older men with the thoughts and memories none of us dare entertain ...
Thanks is not good enough
Because if I was a Normandy vet, and I looked around today, I'd be nail eating, anvil tossing PISSED at what evil people have allowed ...
and it wasn't supposed to
We need a Freeper with better Google and investigative skills than me to look into this. I have heard (but have been unable to verify) that every D-Day vet who met with Obama during his trip was in some way connected to pro-Soviet activity in the 1950s.
What do we know about those folks?
Several years ago I was going to Fort Benning for my Nephew’s graduation from Ranger school. I discovered that the aging man sitting next to me was a first wave, D-Day survivor. For an hour and a half, I was captured by his “story.”
I quietly passed a note to a flight attendant. We were sitting in the rear of the plane. When we arrived at the gate (in Memphis), the pilot spoke over the PA system. He said that we were extremely lucky that day - a true hero was among us. He gave a brief description do D-Day, and asked that we permit the veteran to de-plane first. We did. He exited the plane to a continuous round of applause, respectful comments, and much thanks. When I finally was able to exit the plane and enter the airport, I discovered that he had been slowed by the reception he met when he got off the ramp. Apparently the pilot had called ahead, and hastily arranged a heroes welcome for him. We didn’t talk again, but he did wink at me when he saw me. That is the best wink I’ve ever received.
America is /was blessed to have young men see the big picture and be faithful and committed team members. It was not about individual glory. It was about the goals of the country.
Memories. Good ones.
“... give the survivors absolute amnesty ...
Allow THEM the earned right to determine who is an enemy and who isn’t ... attempt to bring America back to what they left 70 plus years ago ... the earned right to sleep with their fathers knowing they’ve done a good and effective job ... Allow THEM their dignity and respect for becoming older men with the thoughts and memories none of us dare entertain ... “
Emotionally moving, even compelling, perhaps.
But things were never so clear at the time, and have only grown more muddled since.
For years after WWII began, Americans hoped the nation could avoid it. It’s accurate to say that the “America First” movement - led, driven and supported by those who’d be called “Paleoconservatives” today - spoon-fed the populace that notion. It was a delusion.
And after VJ Day, the nation could not disarm quickly enough. The dismantling of the military establishment was not a Left/Progressive conspiracy; it was demanded by “regular Americans”. Not a few were veterans of operation OVERLORD.
The victory of capital-L Liberalism was seen as complete and comprehensive, not merely in the war, but over every aspect of American life great and small, public and private. Not one single Conservative policy alternative, cultural construct, nor moral imperative could be put forth in reply. Conservatism had been reduced to a set of “irritable mental gestures,” as Calvin Trillin put it.
Friedrich Hayek did not rate mention as an eccentric academic, Russell Kirk had just begun studying at St Andrews, and William F. Buckley Jr was just getting the first taste of undergrad life at Yale. Milton Friedman was making sense of his wartime service as a policy wonk for the US Treasury Dept and remained an apologist for New Dealism, his Nobel Prize decades in the future. Whittaker Chambers was writing for Time Magazine, commuting to his farm in rural Maryland for weekends; he had not yet formed the notion that Conservatism might become a “side” to join, then lose with. And Ronald Reagan had left behind his wartime service in intelligence to resume his acting career.
Most important of all, we must recall that a majority of Americans voted for Democrat majorities in Congress, Democrat Presidents, or what this forum angrily vilifies as RINOs. And they did so for decades on end. That includes a majority of WWII veterans.
It is risky to assume that because some people face great sacrifice and prevail in war, they necessarily become superior leaders forever after, leading well in all circumstances, smoothly governing a vast polyglot country, making the “right” policy choices in the short run and the long.
And I'm pretty sure more than half of America would be glad and enabled if aforesaid vets DID take a crack at cleaning up our government.
Remember ... they fought regimes ...not men ... it's just that men stood in the way of getting at the regime.
You know...A part of me looks at the lead in (and title) to this article, and I wonder if it is best, sometimes, when you are looking for the right words to say, it’s better to not say anything at all...
Just my opinion...
D-Day + 70 Years: Looking For The Right Words
Hows about “Thanks”
“I’m pretty sure any D-Day survivors have no idea what you just said, and would pass you off as a long hair intellectual that doesn’t know ...
... more than half of America would be glad and enabled if aforesaid vets DID take a crack at cleaning up ... “
knarf deserves thanks for providing levity, however unintentional. Laughing aloud is not heard much around here, these days.
Apologies to forum members for exceeding their ever-shortening attention spans. Abbreviated version follows:
American “exceptionalism” contains too much self-congratulation and too much navel-gazing.
America was never so perfect that we were justified in “staying out of it” in 1914-17. Less justification in the 1930s, when Version 2.0 came down on everyone’s heads. We were unpardonably self-regarding, oh-so-jealous of rights and oh-so-certain of our protected status, that we deluded ourselves that “staying out” was possible - against all previous evidence. Early intervention - support for allies - might have been decisive. At less cost. And less sorrow.
And we failed to stay out, anyway. Hence the D-Day anniversaries. And the victory celebrations, every decade. I’ve assisted in putting on some of the very largest, and they are undeniably moving.
The “Greatest Generation” (a moniker for which Tom Brokaw deserves vilification, not praise or money) fought well, but how long can battlefield success excuse subsequent (and ongoing) failures? Something less than abject hero-worship might be in order for veterans who came home and voted in so many Left/Liberals, decade after decade. And GGers alone bear responsibility - rather a weighty responsibility, I’d say - for birthing and rearing the Baby Boomers, a cohort who may yet succeed in undoing the Republic.
As for the names knarf apparently failed to recognize, forum members had better study up. If I were the betting sort, I’d put money on the proposition that no one here knows who Edmund Burke or Horace Walpole were, either.
“If I were the betting sort, Id put money on the proposition that no one here knows who Edmund Burke or Horace Walpole were, either.”
You must be one of those REAL conservatives, so unlike the common riff-raff that slouches around here. Thank heavens we finally have someone to instruct the great unwashed.
Edmund Burke, now there was a thinker, eh?
The other has his name on a state prison in Massoftwoshits.
“One is quoted, ‘ All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing ‘
The other has his name on a state prison in Massoftwoshits.” [sic]
Glad to be proven wrong, even if only a little.
Americans like Edmund Burke - he advised George III and his government to let the Colonies go peacefully, admonishing them that those contemptibe Americans would prove to be more trouble than they were worth. George & government ignored him.
Burke is best remembered on this side of the pond for the quote knarf posted, about triumph of evil and good men doing nothing, etc.
Horace Walpole was a member of Britain’s House of Commons from 1741 until 1768, leaving office three years after Edmund Burke was elected to office. He also sympathized with the American cause; like Burke, he took a dim view of the French Revolution and promoted Burke’s attack on it, _Reflections on the Revolution in France_.
Walpole said “Good men cannot save a great nation, because good men will not go to the lengths that may be necessary.” (quoted in _Winston’s War: Churchill 1940-45_, by Max Hastings. Vintage, 2011).
I deem it useful to put the second quote right up there with the first.
Conservatives are inclined in the direction of moralistic complacency, assuming - much too comfily - that Burke’s quote applies directly to them, and thus all they must do is be their natural selves (their self-arrogated “good”ness is a foregone conclusion), and the nation will save itself as if on autopilot.
The quote from Walpole is a reminder that some pretty ugly unhappy measures might need to be undertaken. If conservatives deign to recognize that necessity, they go all squishy, and prissy, and insist that it’s more important to be moral than to win.
They need to be jarred out of their rut, if we are to survive this.