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Cushings 12-09-2011 12:33 PM

Pearl Harbor Day
After a lucid discussion with my 88-year old father, Charles, about Pearl Harbor Day, he told me about his air force time, again, and after the 'first' bombs were delivered to Hiroshima and Nagasaki he was on-deck because the government was not intending to use more atomic weapons, they were sending in my father’s and other squads to bomb the survivors, in the case that Japan did not surrender. The real first bomb was tested at their air force base; he remembers a huge mushroom-cloud at the end of the runway that initially no one would explain to them, wow.

‘After-dinner’ conversations paint amazing pictures in my mind from stories that I have heard before, I just cannot imagine living in war or Charles being part of it, it happened a long time ago. Sometimes I wonder about the value of memory, I'm not sure that I would want to remember the ’big-stuff' such as World War, but glad that he is around to tell me about it, again.


ban 12-09-2011 10:06 PM

War, Politics and stuff we don't want to know
I think listening to stories about how things were even if the memories aren’t perfect is something that can really open up history.

My dad told me that D-Day was not necessary. He said this because he lived in Europe (Germany) during the war and had a totally different perspective. He said that Germany knew that they were done long before the allies did (or at least the public in the allied world did – he said it was pretty obvious and allied leaders knew this according to what the Germans were told). He said it was well known that the Germans had been losing and were not going to last in Italy – and that the allies could have just pushed up through Europe.

I mentioned this to a friend’s dad who was too young to fight in the war but he believed the press and history and he was furious. He said so many people died in D-Day there was no way that the men in charge would not have agreed to do this if they had been winning in Italy. He told me my dad was lying (he wasn’t – he had a different view point and knowledge that was not pro-ally actions). I tried to understand why my friend’s dad would be so upset. My mom knew what my dad said and her brother died in D-Day and she wasn’t upset by what my dad told us. But then a lot of Canadians know about how Britain used Canadians and Australians as cannon fodder- there’s politics even in war! So maybe she was not upset because she understood this or maybe because, as a woman, she didn’t buy into the glory stories of war..

I think my friend’s dad was so angry with what I said because he probably sensed that a lot of things in war are not necessary but didn’t want to face that. It’s easier to believe the stories of justice; glory an honour.
But it’s not the reality in so far as a lot of battles aren’t necessary – the old men in charge don’t fight – the young men (and women) do.

People also now know the allies held back from entering Berlin at the end of the war until the Russians got there – if they hadn’t there would never have been the same Eastern Bloc. It’s all a big game and the stories we are told support the politically correct version of reality. People’s real stories often show a whole different reality. Those are truly fascinating and sometimes very disturbing for people.

But war is never pure – it’s just a big horrible mess that happens because we don’t know how to relate to each other. Chamberlain in Britain said – “Peace in our time” – he was for peace – but he’s a big reason there was even a war.

You have to do more than be nice to stop war.

Brit 12-21-2011 09:21 AM

In a perfect world Freesia - war is not necessary. But at last check I don't think we have reached that point.

Have you ever thought that wars (which we finally seem to be tiring of) were the product (creation) of people who need to experience that lesson? (ie: karma - not as a punishment but as a lesson)

My Mom had a friend who was in Germany in WWII and she was thrilled DDay and the allies arrived.

It's all perspective and I think perspective is based on knowledge and lessons learned or lessons needed.

So - saying it was right or wrong doesn't make sense to me. It was right for some wrong for others. It's the old thing - reality vs illusion - which is real? Or are they both real but from different perspectives?

monti1980 12-21-2011 12:21 PM

What a wonderful and interesting way to put it Brit. My son Ryan went to Iraq 2 times. I have often felt pulledin diferent ways concering this and you put it beautifully. Thanks for giving a multi-perspective look at war and how it is different for all the people involved.

ban 12-24-2011 09:21 PM


I can’t help you make sense of “right or wrong” because I said “Dday and dividing up Berlin were not necessary” as in they were choices. You’ll have to deal with your own black and white interpretation, I’m afraid.

And yes, I have considered war as karma and I’ve also considered something you’ve neglected to mention – choice. We choose when and if we learn our lessons. That’s the point of past life regressions; psychotherapy – self-help and other methods of self-examination. People can choose to learn their lessons mindfully, consciously, and grow at any time. They do not have to wait for the huge crises in their lives to learn from “experience”.

War or any other crisis usually is a result of people choosing not to learn their lessons.

The crises by and large are not necessary and if we believe they are, that blinds us to what we can do, quite possibly, to prevent or mitigate them.

My definition of peace – like everything about how I think – is “grey” – it’s not the polarized version you describe. Peace, to me, is a dynamic equilibrium or tension – akin to what exists in a healthy ecosystem in nature. And it is people understanding how to maintain that (ie peace).

Which is why I know we can achieve it. At least those of us who are willing to make the effort to learn. I happen to believe we are in the silent majority.

You can thank us later.

StevenOz 08-19-2012 09:23 AM

I know this is from a long time ago, but so true, so true. :)

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