Interesting conversation on Twitter this morning with a fellow MSer from the UK. She was wondering who else in her office would pause at 11. It’s somewhat incredible to me how little people today know about why Veterans’ Day is 11 November. (And, for the locals, what the significance of the Victory Arch is…or that it even exists.)
Obviously, World War II gets the attention simply due to the number of Americans who served. Pretty much everyone has someone in his/her family who served. Unless you’re very young, you’ve probably spoken to that family member.
Vietnam gets a lot of attention, simply because of the combatants’ generation (it’s all about the Boomers!). It was a big deal, and lasted across four presidents’ administrations.
So many younger people seem to know next to nothing about World War I. My great-grandmother would tell stories about how my great-grandfather came home after basic training, and married her. This was despite his drill sergeant’s explicit instructions not to go and get married during the week they had off before they shipped out to Europe.
Seems pretty much everybody else in his class did exactly the same thing he did. I was very young when he died; I don’t remember him at all. Googling reveals little; I don’t even know his middle initial, much less his name (or even if he had one, as lots of folks from that generation didn’t….).
He came back, reunited with his young wife, formed lots of babbys, and lived to see several great-grandchildren.
People also don’t know much about Korea. Both of my grandfathers were naval reservists after World War II. By the time they’d have been recalled for service in Korea, they were both married with expectant wives (my parents were both born in 1951) — not exactly draft/deploy material. I did have a couple of great uncles who fought in Korea — one Navy, one Army. (They also both were in Vietnam.)
A few months ago, when Kim Jong number Un was flexing his minuscule muscles, along with something else where I started reading up on LTC Page, I realized how little people, myself included, actually understand about the ongoing situation in Korea. That war never ended. An astounding number of people were killed in a very short time (over 30K Americans KIA in just over three years of fighting).
The media, trying to please the audience they’re trying to serve (you know, the ones who are really interested in the ED and Low-T meds advertised during the nightly news), are worried about the Norks’ nukes. (Duck-and-cover drills throughout your childhood will do that to you.)
I’m worried about the hundreds of thousands of people who’d die in a very short time if they opened up with their conventional weapons. Yes, we are able to effectively stomp them, but a lot of people would die while we’re getting things into place.
Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
My wife. She is everything to me, and the reason I haven’t quit on a lot of things.