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1937hd45

WWII Menorial in Washington, D.C.

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It was long overdue, but on Saturday May 29, 2004 The WWII Memorial was dedicated to the generation that saved the free world. We were there and it was nice to see so many veterans in there 60 year old uniforms recieve the thank you they so deserve.

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Bob ~ What I just cannot fathom is why an unpopular war like Vietnam received it's veteran's memorial almost 25 years ago and it took 60 years to honor the WW II veterans? confused.giffrown.gif

hvs

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Howard, Do mean to say that World War 2 was a popular war? Never mind I know what you mean and I can't understand why it took so long either.

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Dave ~ In this country at least, WW II has been called, "The last good war." Of course no war is "good", but it had more popular support in the US than any war before or since. I have to say that applies to my attitude as well.

I served in the USAF for 5 years from June 1955 thru June 1960. I was too young for WW II. The Korean War ended before I entered the AF and I was released before Vietnam started. Not planning, just a case of when I was born.

I have studied military history for over 30 years and my heart lies with the Second World War and the men who fought in it. These were the men I flew with from 1955 thru 1960. I had, and still do have, great admiration and respect for them and their generation. Stephen Ambrose and Tom Brokaw, both known to be a bit left of center, came to have a new regard for that generation as they became personally involved in its history. I guess we should include Tom Hanks in there too.

hvs

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> ... Tom Brokaw, known to be a bit left of center...

hvs </div></div>

Howie ~ Tom Brokaw - a bit left of center? confused.gif

And I thought you gave up drinking!!! grin.gifblush.giftongue.gifgrin.gifshocked.gifshocked.gif

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Well---- When compared with Dan Rather and Peter Jennings he might be considered a little right of Atliia the Hun. smirk.gifgrin.gif

But it wasn't always so. Read his autobiography.

hvs

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Howard, I know what you mean. I also worked and flew with veterans of that war and visited over the years several of the cemeteries of that war. My father and uncle both served in it as well. At last a fitting memorial has been created. It is sad that it took so long thus so few of the veterans are still alive to see it. May God Bless them all for they indeed save us from a terrible fate had the Axis powers won.

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The Vietnam memorial came first because we needed it more.

I was in Washington in January and saw all three "new" memorials (Vietnam, Korea, and (nearly complete) WW II) in immediate succession, and interned my uncle in Arlington the next day. There will never be anything as moving as the the Viet Nam memorial built in any capital of any country. It is uniquely democratic and virtuous, and speaks of a thoughtful people's lessons and loss as well as their accomplishments.

Every nation has a memorial in theme just like the WW II memorial. Nobody but America could build a Vietnam Memorial.

smilie_flagge13.gif

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Dave ~ You leave me almost speechless in my disagreement with you on this one.

Suffice it to say that your statement that "There will never be anything as moving as the Vietnam memorial built in any capital of any country" may apply to you, but not to many of the rest of us who have lived a little longer.

You studied the environment. I studied history.

hvs

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I studied history. </div></div>

Then name one other officially memorialized war (not just battle) defeat, especially one that graphically depicts the cost of the defeat without further comment. You don't have to study history to understand the strength of a nation that's able to do that. proud.gif

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Dave, You are the math wiz so you need to visit the WWII Memorial in D.C.and see the 4,000 gold stars that x 100 equal the 400,000 Americans killed in action in WWII.

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Dave, If you ever get to Belgium be sure to take in the Menin Gate in the old city of Ypres. Inside the ancient arch through which many thousands of troops marched (including my grandfather)on the journey to the trenches beyond are engraved the names of the 35,000 British and Empire soldiers who have no known grave and were killed in this area alone. In the surrounding few square miles lie the cemeteries for the several hundred thousands who have known resting places. Of course this is a memorial to a series of battles from 1914-1918 not a single war but in the context of loss of human life the battles in this small area far exceeds military loses in Vietnam. This memorial like the Vietnam one doesn't glorify war as so many do. It is similarly a simple accounting of the terrible price paid and therin lies it's beauty.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dave, You are the math wiz so you need to visit the WWII Memorial in D.C.and see the 4,000 gold stars that x 100 equal the 400,000 Americans killed in action in WWII. </div></div>

Been there. Saw it. It's beautiful and meaningful, as are most war memorials. I already reported here how moving it was for me ( see Things I learned in Washington: ). There are similar math games you can play adding up the totals on the Korean War Memorial. It's not the same.

Numbers aren't names. Names are sons and daughters. It's very, very different. I'd wager to say that the average visitor to any of these memorials (outside of those with personal involvement with a particular war) will spend 3 or 4 times as much time at the Vietnam Memorial. My kids and I certainly did. It was about +15 degrees at the time and there was still a decent crowd there. We all should spend the time.

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Dave,

I'll almost certainly never see Belgium in this lifetime. I'd love to tour those sites, and especially those sites in Europe where the Holocost was documented, but it's not going to happen.

The difference between those monuments and the Vietnam Memorial is that the defeated party (us) built it. While some battle losses have been memorialized in this way (Little Big Horn, etc.), I don't know of a single major monument to a lost war outside of that one (let alone such a meaningful one). Somewhere there may be some that exist which try to glorify/redefine/explain a loss, but our Vietnam Memorial does none of those things.

Only a great people can pull that one off.

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Guest imported_Brenda Shore

I do not usually come onto the board, but I must say that I am shocked and appalled that there is a discussion, let alone an argument over which war was 'the best' or which memorial to our veterans is 'better.

All memorials to our veterans - both those living and dead - are a tribute to our freedom and to our right to call ourselves Americans.

Please do not call a war good - it is a necessary evil to the protection of our freedom.

I for one am pleased to honor our soldiers, regardless of the war, the time period in which they fought or the armed branch in which they served/serve.

Brenda Shore

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Dave, Most war memorials which contain the names of those sacrificed however are just that; memorials to those who were sacrificed regardless of who won or lost and do not glorify victory. The Canadian War memorial at Vimy in France with it's statute of a grieving mother/ nation was not built to memorialize the victory of the First World War but to express the sorrow of a Canada. I often think that the more elaborate monuments were built with as much a sense of guilt rather than gratitude but that may be cynical. In regard the Vietnam one it did take a great people to pull it off and in that I agree wholeheartedly but I can't stand in front of it without thinking of the millions of victims of that war who have no monument.

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Welcome Brenda! It's good to see you posting. Like you, I have just been sitting on the side taking all of the discussion in. I have nothing of importance to add, but I agree with you that all war is bad. Although the history of this country has shown that we, as Americans, are not afraid to give up our own lives in the name of freedom. It makes me proud to have met some real heros in my time.

By the way, PASS THE SUGAR! <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Inside joke, guys. I shared a meal with Brenda and her family in Philly this past year and throughly enjoyed myself. It's good the see the ladies participating again. Take care, Brenda!

Wayne Burgess

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