Monday, October 01, 2007

"The War" Updated

 
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I wrote this post about Ken Burns' documentary, and I had yet to feel the heartstring tugs I expected.

Staying the course, I am now watching the seventh night of the documentary, and I must say it has been fascinating, both heartsick and uplifting to watch. I have begun to discern the individual interviewees' personalities and how the Big One related to each of their lives.

A friend who often stops by TT, and exchanges emails (thank you, Edward) pointed me in the direction of this book by E. B. Sledge. Here is a link to a Studs Terkel interview with Eugene Sledge, among other soldier interviews (Sledgehammer's is about midway).

Lastly, I read of this experiment at a Christian Science Monitor site: a small group of four young people are watching the documentary and giving the researchers feedback. Very interesting reading. The last sentence is an echo of a similar sentiment I feel myself:

As the group breaks, a feeling of uneasy awe lingers at the table. Finally, one member voices a previously unspoken concern: "Will America ever be able to succeed like that again?"

I don't know. But, I hope we are never tested with the horrors of another war like WWII again.

4 comments:

bill said...

The American soldiers of WW2 were brave and heroic - my own father and many of my uncles were among them, as were thousands of Russians and British and many other nationalities.

But I think America has had many great achievements since then. Perhaps the finest in my lifetime was the peaceful success of the civil rights movement.

Certainly from our distant perspective there seems to be little moral ambiguity in WW2, and I'm sure that is why there is so much nostalgia for it. We always long for those "simple" times when society was in sync with our own moral choices.

DarkoV said...

"Will America ever be able to succeed like that again?"

Yes, absolutely yes, if......

I have a strong confidence and faith in the American people to do the "right and courageous thing".

It's the leaders that I have minimal faith in. Take 9/11 and the aftermath. The majority of people felt strongly that the US of A should invade Afghanistan. As a nation, we had the support of our usual nations in arms of GB, Italy, Germany.

However, when the call for the invasion of Iraq came, with questionable proof and even more questionable reasoning, the support wasn't there and what was there has now greatly eroded.

Americans can tell shit from shinola; it's our leaders who are walking in dreck and we, as Americans, should not be following.

Pancho said...

Another great Ken Burns effort. Burns will be speaking in Midland next week. I have an extra ticket if there are any Swedish stewardesses who wish to go with me.

I especially appreciated the extensive coverage of the War in Italy, where my Dad fought. In one short clip I saw a guy who looked just like my Dad, right place, right time...probably not him, but since he passed away last November, it was enjoyed.

Trace said...

At this point, whomever takes their place as president after this administration leaves, has a huge and horrifying task before them, to clean up the messes made. It is difficult to tell what will come...
With the other world wars, the focus seemed much clearer, and seemingly, we knew better who and what we were dealing with than the hazardous way things are playing out now. WWII was certainly horrific.
The photo of the soldier is heartwrenching.