Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Thanks to Vicus . . .

for highlighting the "One Day in History" project.

In the last few days, I have had a 73-year old woman accuse me of being most un-American and unappreciative of how good I have it in America for my printed comments expressing a severe lack of confidence in my national leaders and their choices of international action. I have also been challenged to pray for my leaders, the soldiers they send into harm's way for whatever reasons they chose, and for my country.

While I won't submit the above to the One Day in History site, I will submit the following.


After a day in which my patriotism and support for our armed forces has been questioned, I remembered a day in Cornwall 38 years and six months earlier.
I was just shy of six years of age, a student at Trebisker School near the closed RAF St. Eval, and the son of a U.S. Navy petty officer stationed at Naval Weapons Facility St. Mawgan.

April of 1968 was also the end of "Prague Spring" and the beginning of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

At the time, I wondered why my father disappeared for a couple of weeks and was told by my mother that he had to work and would be home soon.

Naval Weapons Facility is another way of saying 'nuclear arsenal.'

It wasn't until I was just starting high school in Virginia in 1976 that the significance of April 1968 really appeared to me. The stories I heard when my father saw me looking at a picture of a nuclear weapon in a modeling magazine added an extra chill as he recalled how he spent those days in April helping fuse and arm nuclear torpedoes and depth charges for loading on a round robin of U.S. Navy patrol planes cycling through St. Mawgan and back to places north to begin covering the North Sea.

That's my day in history - a little reflection and a strong instance of pity for some ignorant old woman who thinks blind faith and patriotism are far more acceptable than a desire for the truth.

Tomorrow, when Vicus does regale us with a story about men with rectally-borne turnips, I shall have a historical account of Romans, statutes against adultery, and black radishes.

And I'll still pity that woman, for she knows damn little of whence she speaks.

6 Comments:

Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

Oh your rant is a thing of beauty! Bring it on say I! Bohemians are clamoring for more! We tend to like rants, just in case you did not know! ;-P

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, it's those silly old fools and their blind religiosity and patriotism that run the world these days.

Thanks for the link to the history site. I'm sorry I missed it on the 17th.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

I'm delighted to be in the same company as you x

4:52 PM  
Blogger The Michael said...

I was not part of the "greatest generation", but my shipmates and I did some incredibly dangerous things which in concert with other brave submariners kept the Soviets at bay until they crumbled from within, but even as we did it, we were not entirely sure of what good we were doing, so much of the bigger picture was hidden from us. I have so much more pride in retrospect for what we did, and I feel I have all the license I need to question the total ineptitude I feel our leaders are guilty of, and I for one spent enough time bunking next to nucs to feel comfortable telling such people to kindly go fuck themselves.

9:21 PM  
Blogger ziggi said...

I wonder how many of the History Blogs will be about the senselessness of our 'leaders' and the resulting tradegy of war?

4:39 AM  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

I worked with a fella whose family was literally running into the forest in 68 when the Tanks roared into Czechoslovakia.

Send that old lady a picture of Uncle Joe who still holds the record for murdering the most people in your own country. He also had the tighest grip on information...you didn't get very many opportunities to read about his agenda or question his policies.
Asking questions would get you killed.

1:43 AM  

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