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The War on PBS...Wow!

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  • The War on PBS...Wow!

    We've turned off the Ridgid table saw, Ridgid router, Ridgid compound miter saw, Ridgid belt sander and turned our attention to "The War" on PBS. For the past two weeks, we have been glued to the television.

    First off, getting out of the shop was a nice break. Second, we were shocked to see a different side of the war. Third, we learned something from the WW2 generation, both civilians and military alike.

    We were in tears at times, angry at others. It is a great series. Covered a lot of information (however, they left out the Doolittle raid???).

    Our country was a totally different America during the 40's, during the war. Everyone was involved, even the farmer in Kansas growing food for the soldiers.

    In all honesty, it was a stunning program.

  • #2
    Re: The War on PBS...Wow!

    I agree we were totally different back then. People cared about and took pride in whatever they were doing. Now it seems like everyone things they deserve everything society has to offer while they sit on their butt and whine.

    Love watching documentaries like that. I buy stuff like that before I buy movies.

    Josh

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    • #3
      Re: The War on PBS...Wow!

      been watching it as well, I like the prospectives in which they approached the documentary.

      even tho not much revelation to me, as my FIL was a command in Europe and was in the D day invasion and fought his way through Europe, and was wounded in the bulge, his brother was a pilot and was lost in the war, my dad and mother gave the home version of the war, he farmed, and since he was the only farmer (no father or sons) on the place he was not drafted, and had other neighbors and friends of my dad who were in the pacific and in Europe.

      but still a great documented piece of history,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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      • #4
        Re: The War on PBS...Wow!

        Just found out that my 88 year old Uncle was at the Battle Of The Bulge...part of the 17th Airborne...with horror stories he's kept silent about.

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        • #5
          Re: The War on PBS...Wow!

          Thought about buying the DVD collection or pirating it off the internet.

          The imagery is pretty haunting but the number of men killed/wounded during some of these battles is staggering.

          We have lost nearly 4000 soldiers in Iraq in 4-1/2 years and that's way too many.

          In WWII we lost 100 times that many in roughly the same time period.

          I'm not sure this country would have as much resolve today to fight a war and face as many casualties.

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          • #6
            Re: The War on PBS...Wow!

            The generation that fought in WWII, is also the same generation that survived the great depression as kids, then went on to build many of the schools, factories, and churches that we still use today. I'm convinced they survived both of those historic tragedies due to their ability to adapt to discomfort without losing their wits. What a terrific sense selflessness, work ethic, and values that generation had.

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            • #7
              Re: The War on PBS...Wow!

              How did we lose those values of the "40's?" Did they die with President Roosevelt?

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              • #8
                Re: The War on PBS...Wow!

                Originally posted by dzblack View Post
                How did we lose those values of the "40's?" Did they die with President Roosevelt?
                In agreement with what Josh said and having remembered my Ancient history from high school...look at what the Roman Empire was like right before it's decline.
                It had become lavish, luxurious and lazy.
                Sound familiar?
                As funny as he is, I think George Carlin has touched on alot of these issues in his stand up routines.
                Too bad most folks think he's joking.

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                • #9
                  Re: The War on PBS...Wow!

                  Great documentary. I think many of the "popular" heroics, like the Doolittle raid, and many others were skipped over. There's just so much that can be done with any series and I think Ken Burns decided to leave some of the much-covered stories of the past out of the series. His concentration on the home front, sacrifice, and the horrors faced by the citizen-soldier was long overdue IMO.

                  I was born in 1944. My father was in N. Carolina in 1942 for training and met my Mother there. They were both from large families and while my mother had only one brother and several sisters, my father had only one sister and several brothers. All the males on both sides were of military age. All but one brother, who had a back injury, served in "the war".

                  My father and his four eligible brothers enlisted as soon as they could, as their brother Lawrence, was lost on the "Oklahoma" on December 7th.

                  I know very little of any of their military service, other than all the "boys" came home, except for my uncle Lawrence. They had served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corp. My father served in the Army, was in artillery, reached a rank of staff sergeant, served in the Pacific, and saw action at Okinawa. Other than that, I know little of his service. Actually his rank and corp was gained from a photo of him, in 1945. The rest came from an occasional mention by my mother. Dad never talked about any of it, not even in casual conversation with friends or family. My Uncles were the same way... it just wasn't a subject of conversation; ever!

                  I remember the old farm house had a few of those rotoscope pictures of military units and I had the impression that my Uncle Charlie and my Uncle Lawrence were in the service before the war (Army and Navy respectively). My grandfather would occasionally talk about the "boys" being away and how, on the farm, they managed to get through everything without too much "do". Primarily the farm was self sufficient (it didn't get electricity until the early 50's!). I do remember my Grandfather talking about gasoline and tire rationing and my mother still had "my" ration book, as I remember seeing it when I was in my teens and was helping clean out the attic. My mother had moved from the south, up to the north to stay at the farm while my Dad was "overseas". With my grandmother, aunt, and a couple of the wives, the farm made living much easier. With dairy and poultry production, food rationing was less of a burdan and of course that was important with babies like me.

                  Beyond that, I know very little of their experiences during the war. I do know that the sense of duty and responsibility of my father's generation seems almost without limits. I think Burn's documentary showed a side that is almost forgotten today. As I watched, it made me think how different our involvement is with today's war. While then it was a massive effort that touched everybody, our current war seems to be an enormous burden that is shouldered by so very few. No real sacrifices on the home front, except by the families who have members who serve time and time again.

                  For the rest of us, we just seem to carry on with little attention. While I know that many of us "stay tuned" to Iraq and Afganistan news, there are far too many of our neighbors who know little of what's going on. There is of course the inconvenience of those bad stories about Iraq and Afgansistan on the nightly news, but if you patiently wait, "Entertainment Tonight" will bring them the really important news of the day.

                  I suppose a lot of us are too busy worrying about the rising price of milk, the local labor strike, and whether our heating prices are going through the roof this winter. But I also notice that it is almost a rare event to even see war news in the local newspaper. But at least the TV gives a bit of focus on our war. Tonight the story centered on "Blackwater" and how our government would be hard pressed without them and our troops would be stretched even thinner. (There was also a slight mention of the dollar's 30% decline in value over the last couple of years. But that story was twisted around to sound like a good thing... "Canadians can now shop for bargains in the U.S." Of course the bargains are mostly made in China, but what the he!!)

                  As I watched the final episode of "The War" on Tuesday night, it struck me as being a bit odd, that with less than half the population, we put millions into combat service in 1942; yet today, we commit a couple hundred thousand, ask them to serve over and over again, and then greatly concern ourselves with the cost of an army "at it's breaking point".

                  While our 1940's nation was far less educated, we were able to build a giant industry, almost from scratch, to supply thousands of planes, ships, guns, tanks, trucks, jeeps, and ammunition of every description; not only for our own troops, but also for our allies. Yet, in our 21st Century world, we can't keep up with the re-supply needs of a couple hundred thousand of our own troops. We can't keep up with the replacement or repair of damaged equipment, ammunition requirements, or even get safer equipment in the field without extreme delays. And sadly, we find ourselves willing to pay private contractors a fortune, while our troops are barely getting by.

                  Sadly, it would appear that our nation is truly a different place than it was in the 1940's.

                  CWS

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                  • #10
                    Re: The War on PBS...Wow!

                    After my uncle died a few years ago, we found that he was more than just "in the Navy" in the '40s. He was in naval intelligence, and I have several of his tiny cameras. We have negatives of him on a Nazi cruise ship in the Caribbean in the late '30s taking photos of refineries and port facilities. He was in Pearl the second week of December in '41, and he was in Japan just ofter the war with maps with railroad and refineries circled. We have a print of the famous Japanese surrender signing on the carrier, but it isn't the one you usually see. we thnk it is one of his own photos.

                    But he never, ever, talked about it. To us, he was just "in the Navy."
                    Steve
                    www.MorrisGarage.com

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