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"You are about to embark upon the great crusade..."

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Corky Ramirez up on 94th St., Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Corky Ramirez up on 94th St.

    Corky Ramirez up on 94th St. Well-Known Member

    I didn't have any family members who fought in World War II. In fact, I've only had one uncle who fought during a war, the Korean.

    However, I'd like to take the time to thank each and every veteran out there today - and the ones who didn't come home - on this 65th anniversary of D-Day. They've made it safe for my family, and all the other families in this country.

    Today we had a dedication for a memorial at my university for all the students who perished during wartime combat, going back as far as WWII. I saw 80-something year-old men break out their handkerchiefs during the ceremony. I can only imagine what they went through as young men.

    So ... thank you.
  2. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    What he said. Nice thread, Corky.

    We start this thread ever June 6, as we should. It is only right and proper that we do this (cribbing from another great American).

    65 years ago today (June 7), Birdscribe the Elder splashed upon Utah Beach, beginning his tiny role in that Great Crusade that would take him to the liberation of Paris, the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhine campaign, the liberation of Dachau and Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Bertschegaden.

    Unlike a lot of veterans you interview or see interviewed, Birdscribe the Elder doesn't dwell on his wartime escapades. He'll tell you the story about the time he spent three days and nights with the madam of one of the biggest brothels in Paris and loves telling the tale of the time he caused a wounded SS colonel to roll off his gurney and die by threatening "to put Jewish blood into him."

    If you press him, he'll tell the story about the time he stole a motorcycle and drove it around France like Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape" -- until he was ordered to give it back.

    But the ceremonies, the pomp and the pageantry? He wants no part of that. As he put it, "All I care about is that I got home in one piece."
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    My father never talked about his experiences in World War II.
    Shortly before the 50th anniversary of D-Day -- when my dad was 82 -- we received in the mail from the government a certificate acknowlegding him as a participant in the D-Day invasion and an invitation to attend the anniversary ceremonies in France.
    My mom insisted on framing and haning the certificate and my sister, in the travel industry, was ready to make plans to fly with my parents for the ceremony.
    My father's only response was "I was in a radio room in England. Why the hell do I want to go back there and remember everything else?"
    We never discussed the subject again.
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I never get tired of these stories. My great, late grandfather, a veteran of Guadalcanal, Tulagi and New Georgia with the First Marine Raider Battalion under Col. "Red Mike" Edson, gradually opened up over the years, especially to my cousins and I when we were young, and by the end of his life really seemed to enjoy telling the stories that we would ask for, over and over.

    One of the great thrills of my life was conducting an "interview" with him when I was about 11, for a school paper on the bravest person we knew. He talked with me for two hours over the phone, long distance, and told me many of his war stories, very few of which I could appreciate at the time. He's still the bravest person I've ever known.
  5. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    My great-uncle was in WWII, but not Normandy. He goes to a reunion every year and their numbers are dwindling.

    He's 82 now, and plays French horn in the Lafayette community band. (I wondered if the photog who stuck his photo -- twice -- on their slide show during the Memorial Day concert realized he was a veteran.) The man is a hoot and a great storyteller.

    I've only asked him one time about being in the war -- he was in the Navy -- and hope that I have more time once I get back into the country. It's not the historical perspective I want to know, it's his personal story. I hope that everyone gets the opportunity to learn their fathers' and grandfathers' stories.

    My great-uncle has no children of his own, but next time I meet up with him I hope to be armed with a digital recorder, so that I can preserve his story so my nephews and nieces will recognize what he and his peers did.
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    For far too many years, WWII vets didn't talk about their experiences. Probably a mixture of humility and just not wanting to go throught it again. I'm grateful for getting the chance to hear some of their stories, far more gripping and awe-inspiring than any film could do justice. And their dedication to their fallen friends is only one more thing to salute. Read the story about the D-Day vet who returned to Omaha Beach this weekend even though he was gravely ill - he died in his sleep in Normandy early Saturday.
    You talk the these guys and they'll say "we didn't go into it wanting to save the world, we just did what we thought we were supposed to do."
  7. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    There's not a man in the world I admire half as much as my father, who was in the Korean War. He was an infantry soldier who was (thankfully) on the winning side in what has been described as one of the greatest defensive battles ever fought in modern times, the Battle of Kapyong, in which a Canadian battalion of maybe 800 men held off and beat back the advance of a Chinese division probably 10 times its size, if not larger.

    When he speaks about his experiences at Kapyong and in Korea as a whole, he usually does so in generalities. He claims to not remember a lot in specific detail, which I realize is not uncommon - it's a subconscious blocking out of traumatic events. Dad has had opportunities to return to South Korea but he has rejected them all, saying he couldn't wait to get out of the place and has no intention of ever going back.

    But he has collected every book he can find about the Korean War and Canada's participation in it, and he watches Korean War-related documentaries whenever they're on TV. And he probably doesn't know it, but I've watched him as he watches these documentaries. His eyes well up sometimes....and I know damn well that he does go back to Korea, if only in his mind, and he does remember.

    As should we.

    Thank you, Dad.

    And thank you to all veterans for your sacrifices, which we realize now have all too often been not only of a physical nature.
  8. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Should you have the chance to get to Normandy and the American Cemetery, do it. You will not regret it.

    I can't begin to fathom what that day must have been like.
  9. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Sigh - the sacrifices of D-Day have now been trivialized to compare the invasion of Normandy to the sale of a new phone. Talk about crass.

    From: Elevation Partners
    Saturday, June 6 will be remembered in many parts of the world as the 65th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. At Elevation, it will have another meaning: Pre Day. The Palm Pre goes on sale at Sprint stores on Saturday morning.

    We could not be more excited. After two and half years of hard work our “baby” is coming to market. The circumstances could not be better. All three of the major reviewers of consumer products – Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, David Pogue of the New York Times, and Ed Baig of USA Today – gave the product fantastic reviews. Time Magazine and the Associated Press also posted great reviews. The links are below and we encourage you to read them.
    We believe that Palm is creating a new category of smartphone, distinct from RIM’s Blackberry and Apple’s iPhone. Pre is aimed at busy people for whom access to the web is as important as email and contacts. The reviewers seem to share our optimism about this positioning.
    As important as Pre Day is to us, it is only the beginning. We liken it to graduating from a university; it is the beginning of Palm’s adult life. With good execution, Palm’s revolutionary webOS will have a life of ten to fifteen years. The cell phone category is so big – more than 1.2 billion units per year worldwide – that Palm is unbounded in its growth opportunity. If Palm captures a modest portion of the consumers who migrate from simple (feature) phones to smart phones, growth will be fantastic for many years.
    Wall Street Journal


    New York Times


    USA Today


    Time Magazine


    Associated Press


    Our time horizon on Palm remains long and open ended. In our experience, opportunities like Palm do not come along often enough.

    Thank you for your support.

    Sorry to threadjack this thread.
  10. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    Both of my late grandfathers did time in Europe in WWII. The one on my mother's side liked to show off the shrapnel still embedded in his lower back. It always grossed us kids out, yet he was one that never really told stories about combat. Whores in England and France? Oh yes. But ask him if he shot a kraut and he'd say "I don't know."

    The other grandfather was hardcore. He drove a tank in the Battle of the Bulge. He always liked to show off his medals, photographs and other memorabilia, but he'd often get so excited about trivial things (the mechanics of the tank he drove was a big one) that he would get sidetracked from telling any story worth remembering. The family did manage to get him to the WW2 memorial in Washington before he died. It took a lot of bickering and fighting to get him to go, but once he was there you could tell he found a new level of pride for the service he performed all those years ago.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  11. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    My grandfather was there, too. I was too young and stupid to appreciate what he did when I was younger. I really wish he were still around to ask, but sadly he died in 1997. I'd love to know more about his time over there, but have no idea where to even start.
    I heard a few roundabout stories when I was a kid, like the time he got shot in the ass or the time he met Patton (I assume he was in Patton's division; I'm not entirely sure).
    There was another about how he had this hiding spot up under some armor plating on his Sherman. His tank went to the motor pool for repairs, and he ended up driving another one. His original tank went back into service with a different crew, and got hit. The driver, who was in the same hiding spot my grandfather liked, was killed.
    A few years later, when my grandmother died, we were going through some photo albums and came across some WWII pictures. There were several of destroyed bridges and such across the Rhine. There was also one of a young kid that we assumed was his son. So we have a Kraut uncle we've never met, apparently.
  12. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    And speaking of trivializing the day, how about this Belmont Stakes lead in the Daily Racing Form?

    ELMONT, N.Y. - It was the 65th anniversary of D-Day on Saturday. At Belmont Park, that stood for Desormeaux Day.
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