Transfixus Sed Non Mortuus

Here I Stand, Pierced and Transfixed

Browsing Posts tagged war

Here’s a very accessible and quick read that I found interesting on one writer’s grandfather’s final days:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19207134

As we walked on into the woods, we stumbled across a network of trenches. Roots and foliage have caused some subsidence, but these old front-line positions are remarkably well preserved.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLdXzq_wPmI

My full name is Jack Leroy Tueller. This is two weeks after D-Day. It’s dark, raining, muddy, and I’m stressed. So, I get my trumpet out and the commander says, “Jack, don’t play tonight because there’s one sniper left.”

I thought to myself, “That German sniper is scared and lonely as I am.” So I thought, “I’ll play his love song.”

The next morning, here came a jeep up from the beach about a mile and a half away. And the military police says, “Hey, Captain. There’s some German prisoners. Get ready to go to England.”

One of them keeps saying in broken English, “Who played that trumpet last night?”

And he burst into song and he said, “When I heard that number that you played, I thought about my fiance in Germany. I thought about my mother and dad, about my brothers and sisters, and I couldn’t fire.”

And he stuck out his hand, and I shook the hand of the enemy. He was no enemy; he was scared and lonely like me.

The power of music.

Hiroo Onoda

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http://www.wanpela.com/holdouts/profiles/onoda.html

On February 20, 1974, Onoda encountered a young Japanese university dropout named Norio Suzuki who was traveling the wold and told his friends that he was “going to look for Lieutenant Onoda, a panda, and the abominable snowman, in that order. The two became friends, but Onoda said that he was waiting for orders from one of his commanders. On March 9, 1974, Onoda went to an agreed upon place and found a note that had been left by Suzuki. Suzuki had brought along Onoda’s one-time superior commander, Major Taniguchi, who delivered the oral orders for Onoda to surrender. Intelligence Officer 2nd Lt. Hiroo Onada emerged from the jungle of Lubang Island with his .25 caliber rifle, 500 rounds of ammunition and several hand grenades. He sureendered 29 years after Japan’s formal surrender, and 15 years after being declared legally dead in Japan. When he accepted that the war was over, he wept openly.

There’s something very honorable in this, even if it might seem a bit strange to us. From the Japanese surrender in 1945 to Onoda’s surrender in 1974 is an awfully long span of time. Even though there were leaflets dropped declaring the end of the war, Onoda thought they were clever ruses and dared not venture forth. I think this is an incredible story. This man did what he thought was “right” until he received orders otherwise. That’s pretty amazing, even if he was mistaken.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/page/246106_

Claude Stanley Choules, the last known combat veteran of World War I, died Thursday at a nursing home in the Western Australia city of Perth, his family said. He was 110.

I am a little surprised that I didn’t see this sooner. According to MSNBC, the last known combat veteran of WWI died back in May. Having grown up with songs like “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” and “The Green Fields of France,” I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the “Forgotten Generation.” It was a great and terrible war that we thought would be enough to end all wars, but we’ve seen many wars since then.

I wonder what Claude thought of all the wars that have been fought since he set down his tin hat and gun. I wonder what our legacies will be. We live in a strange time where there are more nuclear weapons in existence than needed to kill the entire Earth many times over. How close our lives swing in pendulous and delicate balances of power.

Yet through all this, I find the Earth and its people can be as rich in love and kindness as it can be self-destructive and angry. Again, a delicate balance of many good things and many things that aren’t so good. I think our natures are being played out as we fight the urgings of our DNA with the knowledge we gain in each lifetime.

I am looking towards the future with much hope, though I know that one slight thing could bring about a sad and dreary end. As the “Forgotten Generation” finally is taken from living breathing beings and immortalized into the pages of history, I hope that such a generation shall never have to live that way again.

The Sun is Burning

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The sun is burning in the sky.
Strands of cloud go slowly drifting by.
In the park, the dreamy bees
are droning in the flowers among the trees,
and the sun is in the sky

Now the sun is in the West.
Little kids lay down to take their rest,
and the couples in the park
are holding hands and waiting for the dark,
and the sun is in the West.

Now, the sun is sinking low.
Children playing know it’s time to go.
High above a spot appears,
a little blossom blooms and then draws near,
and the sun is sinking low.

Now, the sun has come to Earth,
shrouded in a mushroom cloud of death.
Death comes in a blinding flash
of hellish heat and leaves a smear of ash,
and the sun has come to Earth

Now the sun has disappeared
All is darkness, anger, pain and fear.
Twisted, sightless wrecks of men
go groping on their knees and cry in pain,
and the sun has disappeared.
~Ian Campbell

Johnny Come Lately

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I’m an American, boys,
and I’ve come a long way.
I was born and bred in the USA.
So listen up close,
I’ve get something to say.
Boys, I’m buying this round.
Well it took a little while,
but we’re in this fight,
and we ain’t going home
’til we’ve done what’s right.
We’re gonna drink
Camden town dry tonight
if I have to spend my last pound.

When I first got to London
it was pourin’ down rain.
Met a little girl
in the field canteen.
Painted her name
on the nose of my plane,
Six more missions I’m gone.
Well I asked if I could stay
and she said that I might.
Then the warden came around
yelling “Shut out the lights!”
Death rainin’ out of the London night,
We made love ’til dawn.

But when Johnny-Come-Lately comes marching home,
With a chest full of medals and a GI loan,
They’ll be waitin’ at the station down in San Antone,
When Johnny comes marching home.

My P47 is a pretty good ship,
And she took a round
coming cross the channel last trip.
I was thinking ’bout my baby
and letting her rip.
It always got me through so far.
Well they can ship me
all over this great big world,
but I’ll never find nothing
like my north-end girl.
I’m taking her home
with me one day, sir,
Soon as we win this war.

But when Johnny-Come-Lately comes marching home,
With a chest full of medals and a GI loan,
They’ll be waitin’ at the station down in San Antone,
When Johnny comes marching home.

Now my granddaddy
he sang me this song,
Told me about London
when the blitz was on,
How he married grandma
and brought her back home,
a hero throughout his land.
Now I’m standing
on a runway in San Diego,
A couple purple hearts,
and I move a little slow.
There’s nobody here,
maybe nobody knows,
About a place called Vietnam.

But when Johnny-Come-Lately comes marching home,
With a chest full of medals and a GI loan,
They’ll be waitin’ at the station down in San Antone,
When Johnny comes marching home.
~Steve Earle

Over There

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Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Take it on the run,
On the run, on the run.
Hear them calling, you and me,
Every son of liberty.
Hurry right away,
No delay, go today,
Make your daddy glad
To have had such a lad.
Tell your sweetheart not to pine,
To be proud her boy’s in line.

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there –
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming
Ev’rywhere.
So prepare, say a pray’r,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We’ll be over, we’re coming over,
And we won’t come back till it’s over
Over there.

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there –
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming
Ev’rywhere.
So prepare, say a pray’r,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We’ll be over, we’re coming over,
And we won’t come back till it’s over
Over there.

Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Johnnie show the Hun
Who’s a son of a gun.
Hoist the flag and let her fly,
Yankee Doodle do or die.
Pack your little kit,
Show your grit, do your bit.
Yankee to the ranks,
From the towns and the tanks.
Make your mother proud of you,
And the old Red, White and Blue.

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there –
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming
Ev’rywhere.
So prepare, say a pray’r,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We’ll be over, we’re coming over,
And we won’t come back till it’s over
Over there.

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there –
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming
Ev’rywhere.
So prepare, say a pray’r,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We’ll be over, we’re coming over,
And we won’t come back till it’s over
Over there.
~George M. Cohen