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.