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Old 10-28-2007, 07:30 AM   #29
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I wonder how respectful American tourists are when they visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki. I wonder if hats are removed there. People forget about the past, most people only think about today. As a society, WE have all lost servility and respect for each other. WE have forgotten about so many of the values that were second nature just two generations ago. Just spend an hour at a busy mall and watch how many people hold the door for the next person or how many just walk through without noticing anyone is around them. Watch how many people actually say thank you when someone does something for them. WE have become very self absorbed. Our society has gotten very relaxed about formalities such as taking ones hat off at a memorial or even during the national anthem. I don't see how WE are ever going to go back to the way it was. Cultural revolution is always possible.
In the 1960's OUR society changed radically. A large part of OUR society revolted against the War in Vietnam. A large part of OUR society turned it's collective back to violence. For the first time in OUR history a voice was heard that had never been aloud to speak. Freedom became a new concept in the 1960s, it became an inalienable right that WE didn't have to die for. Freedom was something WE just had to tune in to.
My father was in Vietnam when I was a child. I had no idea what or where Vietnam was. But every night I sat in front of the TV, footed pajamas, glass of milk and moms cookies... watching the TV because Walter Kronkite might show my Dad on the news while he talked about that place where my Dad was. The news started with; "Today in Vietnam, twenty Vietcong insurgents, ten NVA regulars, and four Americans soldiers were killed, two Airmen are missing in action" And then they would show some clips of helicopters flying in some troops, followed by some troops on the ground and then that was it. My Dad flew helicopters so that was what I was tuned in to. I remember when my Dad came home. I remember watching him walk down the stairs from the plane, I remember the Hippies with their signs. I remember one woman spitting on my Dad, and calling him a baby killer. I also remember the coffins coming out plane, with the flags draped over them. Now almost 40 years later, I watch the news and have flashbacks of my childhood. Instead of Vietnam they say Iraq, instead of Walter, it's Katie. But someone is still killing insurgents, and someone is still killing US. I never would have thought that in my life time I would see history repeat itself. I hope that my daughters never have to see todays events repeat themselves. I hope that they never see people killing innocent people because their God is better. I hope that my daughters never have to see OUR country invade another country because WE think differently than they do. Unfortunately, I know that they will see history repeat itself again, I have.
I do not mean to diminish the heroic actions of our veterans. I always thank them even though I do not believe in war. I thank them, because most people never do. Because they did, what I am not able to do.
I realize that there are some that I have offended by what I have said. You are welcome to slam me for my beliefs, I can take it. I know that no matter how hard we try were cannot bomb the world to peace.
Well enough out of me... I have leaking windows to go fix.

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Old 10-28-2007, 07:41 AM   #30
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Thanks for the great post Andy!

Having recently watched "The War" on PBS, I really had my eyes opened to the realities of World War Two and the suffering. I am so intensely proud to be an American. Your post and more like it are needed to carry the message throughout our entire society. We all need to learn, be thankful, and be respectful to those who lost their lives so we can be free now.


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Old 10-28-2007, 07:59 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Americans, please don't let things like the "Arizona Memorial" be forgotten.
I cannot support Andy's original post strongly enough - we must remember, we must teach our children, and we must support those who offer their lives to our country today.

My family and I visited the Arizona Memorial earlier this year - it is an incredibly moving experience. Most of the visitors were respectful though there definately is a tension between the Memorial's roles of tourist attraction, educational center, and gravesite.

That said...

Whenever you were born there were people convinced that the youth of its age were irreverent and disrespectful and that 'jazz and liquor', 'comic books and rock and roll', or 'drugs and the internet' were destroying the moral fiber of our country. Most of the youth I know in person (as opposed to knowing about through the media) are bright, caring, and concerned about improving the world around them.

My grandparents came to America from a variety of backgrounds - Holland in the 1600s, England in the 1700s, Italy in the 1880s, and Hungary in the 1910s. I am grateful that they were able to come to America in a time when anyone willing to work hard in persuit of the American dream was welcomed as an asset instead of shuned as a threat.

I have seen Americans visiting Japanese shrines and temples behave worse than the Japanese I saw visiting the Arizona. A lack of understanding of foreign cultures is all too common. And all too tragic.
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:23 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by ljmiii
Whenever you were born there were people convinced that the youth of its age were irreverent and disrespectful and that 'jazz and liquor', 'comic books and rock and roll', or 'drugs and the internet' were destroying the moral fiber of our country. Most of the youth I know in person (as opposed to knowing about through the media) are bright, caring, and concerned about improving the world around them.
This is the truest statement I have seen in this thread. I hate to see the actions of the few laid at the feet of all youth in the country and say 'look how awful you kids are'! I volunteer with 4H and the kids are smart, caring, responsible, compassionate, patriotic, and just all around good kids. They will be good adults. Not perfect, but good, just like we try to be.

I think America is going to be just fine.

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Old 10-28-2007, 09:54 AM   #33
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Andy- Thank You
Pie- Very well said and if we all would pursue your words how better life could be.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:04 AM   #34
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At least they're visiting.

This is going to sound a little disjointed, but it does tie together.

Black Tom Island, Kingsland NJ, Marston Moor, Naseby, Smithfield, Ghent, Monmouth Courthouse.... People live near, pass by, and ignore these sites every day.

For that matter it appears as if the site of Braddock's defeat - an event of tremendous eventual importance to the career of Washington (and not just him, but Gates & others as well) & thus the formation of the United States (Churchill opined that no one else could have held the army together during the Revolution) - is now a mix of residential & industrial areas. On 9 July 1855, who stood on third base of that softball diamond on what appears to be the actual site of the battle?
Google Maps view of Braddock's defeat

We visited Shiloh this spring and our kids threw breadcrumbs to the fish at the bloody pool. We also walked through the woods near Sherman's HQ, near where AS Johnston was shot, and tried in vain to find the pit described by various contemporary accounts (Ambrose Bierce). The kids had almost no appreciation for it, but they'll remember a little. They'll remember that we took them.

Ultimately, Pearl Harbor has more in common with the Lusitania (including nearly the same number of dead) than it does Naseby, Ticonderoga, or especially the Coral Sea. It was a trigger - and a dramatic trigger no doubt, but the trigger could have been any number of other things.

At least they're visiting. That they think of it is of vastly more importance than precisely what they think of it.
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Old 10-28-2007, 02:56 PM   #35
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Today I went to Antietam National Park. On Sept. 17 1862, 23,000 men died there in less than 14 hours. We stood on a road where 5,000 men died in four hours. No one in our group spoke above a wisper all afternoon, we were all speachless.
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:29 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
...Veterans and those of us that still care, should always be proud to honor those that gave their lives for us to be free...Andy
All give some and some gave all...

Sacrificing selflessly for others deeply touches me. My prayer today is especially for those that have never known a parent because they gave all in the service of our country. Peace be with you.

Thanks Andy for the reminder,

Have you never questioned those who travel? Have you paid no regard to their accounts- Job 21:29
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:46 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by 62overlander
I wonder how respectful American tourists are when they visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki. I wonder if hats are removed there. People forget about the past, most people only think about today.
I went to both sites in 1972. I was in the Navy and in Dress Uniform, it was a strange feeling. I was very respectful and was very sad about the loss of life and felt it was awful. I still have the book I purchased describing the museum tucked away in a drawer. It was the same feelings I had almost every day when I went to muster on the fan tail of the destroyer I was riding and looked at the Arizona Monument when we were in port at Pearl Harbor.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:53 PM   #38
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I agree, those folks should have taken off their hats and shown more respect. I think they just might not have the same perspective as we do at the memorial. I've seen just as much disrepect perpetrated at Japanese memorials as well, by Americans (and others, including Japanese) no less.
I'm sure a simple reminder from an usher or attendant would have made them more reverent, but the truth is, anyone, going to anyone country's memorial, should show reverence, whether they know the customs or not (remove hat, remove shoes, etc). Just take your cue from everyone else around you, if they are being quiet and take of their shoes, then you should too. It's simply a matter of respect and it's sad to see that violated at any place of reverence.

Being a veteran, I've had the fortune to visit many, many, historical, religious, military, and cultural sites. I've seen them both respected and disrespected by everyone, regardless of race, color, or creed. I just want to point out that in my experience, whether or not you show respect depends more on the individual, than what group they belong to.... and the only way to give them the perspective they need to appreciate the moment, is through educating them.

I know the anger you felt, and I know how you couldn't sleep that night thinking about it, I've been there, but here's what I did. 3 years ago, my battle buddy and I happened upon an incredible fortune. We got to tour Babylon. Yes, that Babylon. This never happens, this was straight out of our history text books. The tour cost 2 US dollars, seriously. Even more incredulous? ...the guide for the tour was the actual archaeologist who has been excavating the site for the past 30 years. His whole life dedicated to this one site and he never got paid for it. He had Saddam literally tell him to paint the walls blue, and when the archaeologist got on his knees and begged "Sir, these walls are the oldest in the civilized world". Saddam said "Do it, or I will kill your family". Needless to say, he painted the walls. But, I digress....anyway, it's just the 3 us of, touring the site, and we come across another small group of soldiers (nationalities witheld), posing with their weapons drawn, like conquering heroes, on the "Lion of Babylon" statue. Not only was this terribly disrespectful, but I felt personally embarrassed. Instead of showing my anger, I called over the group and introduced them to the archaeologist. After they heard the significance of this site and his personal story.... they apologized! I never told them to show respect, they learned it.

Next time you're at a place of reverence and you get angry because you see someone being disrespectful, that's because you know something that they don't. It's not your job to tell everyone to act properly, but an education they learn from you that day, will last a lot longer than a scolding.
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:37 PM   #39
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Your right Andy we should never forget.

However; I also remember a long time ago when “adults” (including my parents) were wondering what is this world coming to with the rock music, weird hair dos and in their opinion kids out of control compared with “their” generation.

Now I have the same thoughts about this younger generation as my parents had about mine!

I hope that’s a good sign.

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Old 10-29-2007, 12:04 AM   #40
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I want to make an observation here. My mother worked on a military post and then later was hospital chairman of her VFW for the VA hospital. I was a member of the junior unit and though I was too young my mother brought me into the hospital where she visited the paraplegics and brought them personal items and small gifts that the junior unit made to cheer them. My aunts and mother and I marched in the parades, sold poppies, made displays. My father served in a fox hole and drove jeeps across mine fields and guarded prisoners, my uncle was machine gunned across the chest being part of the first push and was on disability all his life. My husband served in the Navy and sailed extended deployment on an oil tanker and a missle carrier in the Mediterranean during hazardous times. Both my children were born in a Naval hospital and we lived on base. I understand what sacrifice and duty is to serve one's country.

People misdirect their anger or grievances towards those that they feel are irreverant or idealistic instead of directing it where it is properly due towards the actions of those that fill the memorial tombs. Those there gave their lives for honor. We should live ours with honor, respect and tolerance in as much as it is in our power to do so. That is fitting tribute.

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Old 10-29-2007, 05:54 AM   #41
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Wheel interest, Stay strong to your convictions for THAT is the American way. There will always be someone that does not see eye to eye with you, or me, or someone else. With so many people on this planet, you cannot please everyone. Please yourself, do what you feel is right, and hopefully others will respect you for it. If they do not, well, there is 260,000,000 other Americans that might. It seems to be human nature to always want to be right. Maybe that is why so many humans die in conflicts around the world. The victor is always right... I admire someone that stands up for something I do not agree with much more than someone that tells me what I want to hear. If I could give you karma AGAIN, well I would. Not because I have the exact same point of view, but because you stayed true to yours. Thank you.
P.S. If any of you angry folks want to kick me a bit, do it in a P.M. there has been enough anger expressed on this thread and I can turn my cheek for eternity.
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:49 AM   #42
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Thanks for visiting the one momerial that I have always wanted to see,but never will. Although your report of disrespect is dishearting I somehow thought it would be different. I guess our time is too far removed and mostly meaningless to todays young people. Although I was either to young or to old when the wars occured ,Im still thankful for those who did serve to insure the freedom we enjoy.

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