Collecting thought-provoking quotations and excerpts is important to the whole process of writing memoirs and studying history, including the sorting out of current events. It seems worthwhile to share samples of quotes and excerpts collected from the daily stream of ideas (especially from books and forwarded emails) currently passing through the lives of our veterans.
As you come across more quotes and excerpts, forward them as a means of stimulating food-for-thought alternatives to what's currently being offered through media outlets. In most cases, there will be ample occasion to both agree and disagree, even within the same piece. Feel free to forward your responses and opinions as well.
The following clips and resources were recently forwarded by veterans as being important.
Click to view memory-jogging websites:
US Army mountain combat Afghanistan. Iowa native Salvatore Guinta's Medal of Honor was earned, according to Wikipedia, in the "Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, on October 25, 2007. While conducting a patrol as team leader with Company B, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, Specialist Giunta and his team were navigating through harsh terrain when they were ambushed by a well-armed and well-coordinated insurgent force." Co-edited by journalist Sebastian Junger, author of recent best-selling book War and the film Restrepo.
“Like a Rock” is Bob Seger’s rock tribute dedicated to all veterans of the US armed forces. Starting with WWII, it celebrates the vigor of principled and prime-of-life youth who make up the primary core of America’s military, down to the present. The song then flashes forward so that later veterans can reflect on the nobility of their own youthful commitment. Lyrics.
B-17 Bomber Mission. On June 16, 1943, in the skies above Bougainville in the Solomons, and equipped with six extra machine guns, the B-17 "Old 666" is alone against a squadron of Zeroes. This video shows how computer software can faithfully attempt to restore a historical moment even if actual photographic footage is minimal. Heroism was the order of the day. At stake was aerial reconnaissance, desperately needed for a pending infantry invasion.
Musical patriotism in the war zone. Just as Bob Hope raised the patriotic spirits of combatants during World War II, rock-band leader Gene Simmons shows how it can be done during the Iraq War with a different generation.
Unusual WWII photographs from the private collection of Ray and Josephine Cowdery of Rapid City, who add "We thought you might enjoy these rare photographs. From time to time we find strange stuff in our archives and we will continues to bring it to the attention of World War II history aficionados and fans of original photographs from the period."
The Warrior Song is currently making the rounds of 11B (combat, infantry) units. Notice how differently these units see themselves compared with the liberal anti-war media outlets which keep pushing for a humanitarian or goodwill-ambassador version of our military to undermine the necessary fighting spirit.
Captured: The 65th Anniversary of D-Day on the Normandy Beaches provides dramatic photos which give a "you are there" window into historical moments. Notice how the photos can serve as memory or writing prompts.
US Navy Blue Angels. . . aerial acrobatics teach the envelope of warplane capability, providing the fighter edge in dogfights with a less experienced and lesser trained enemy. Remember the "turkey shoots" of past wars?
Guns & Patriots. Military history articles are a big part of this new free online magazine. Writers can submit their own stories. Writers need to stay in shape by frequently writing down thoughts.
Foyle's War. This mystery series is set during World War II in England, with period sets recalling not only the patriotism and values of the time, but also the nostalgic yearning for the English countryside and now-lost way of life. Now with 22 episodes in 7 DVD sets, it stars Dick Kitchen, a police inspector with the charisma of a general.
Military Tradition and Home Defense. One country's path to a very low crime rate (a tutorial that promises to save lives and suffering, of the good guys at least). Notice how a respect for military training (and gun safety) is passed between generations.
"Ezra Pound Speaking": Radio Speeches of World War II. American anti-Communist poet, highly influential in shaping European literary trends earlier in the century, delivered radio broadcasts from Italy during the war, 1941-1943. Militarily useful to researchers and writers for knowing how the other side thought about wartime issues. His poetry is inscrutable to most, but this full text prose is a bit more readable.
VJ Day, Honolulu, August 14, 1945. Color photographs help us to imagine the optimism that Americans everywhere, united under one patriotic surge, must have felt. It's fitting that we should focus on Honolulu, where WWII began for us.
America, 1939-1943. These color photographs might well serve WWII veterans writing up their experiences. Memoir writers almost always give an accounting of their lives before entering the military--and attempt to render what civilian life back home was like. Picture shows rural Texas school kids in April 1943. Notice the "cost effective" teaching aids and patriotism, all without high-tech gadgetry. Is picture #65 a P-51 as captioned, or a P-40?
Prisoner of War. To watch this short online film, click on "Films" then "Prisoner of War". Despite its hackneyed Leftist formula (anti-war, anti-military, loser is the hero, fragging officers is okay), the film exemplifies a new medium (with superior streaming) that puts low-budget "film making" into Everyman's hands, bypassing the propaganda strongholds of television and Hollywood.
Vietnam War photos. Photo left shows a helmeted U.S. helicopter crewchief, holding a carbine, as he watches ground movements of Vietnamese troops from above during a strike against Viet Cong Guerrillas in the Mekong Delta Area, January 2, 1963. Some of the photos, of course, are intended to convey then-current political opinion.
Battle of Iwo Jima. Historic photos that are well-annotated. February 19, 1945, to March 26, 1945. Wikipedia mentions that "Even after Iwo Jima was about to be declared secured, about three thousand Japanese soldiers were left alive in the island's warren of caves and tunnels. Those who could not bring themselves to commit suicide hid in the caves during the day and came out at night to prowl for provisions...The last of these stragglers...lasted six years, surrendering in 1951."
Read USMC platoon leader in Vietnam James Webb talk about the heroism of the men who fought with him, and how the liberal media is trying to turn Vietnam into another forgotten and misrepresented war. Annapolis graduate Webb went on to become Secretary of the Navy and a US Senator from Virginia. Medals include the Silver Star and Navy Cross.