Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Today is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. My grandfather was there. Not at the Normandy landing but soon thereafter in the Ardennes, in the Battle of the Bulge. That part of his life is always sepia-toned to me. It doesn't seem like a real aspect of this real person's history but rather something on film or in pictures -- something iconic of which I can only appreciate and not relate.

My grandfather is lucky enough to not only have survived the war but to return home as part of The Greatest Generation. How cool is that? His generation got to win the the war, build the Federal Highway System, invent the suburbs...essentially lay the foundation for the modern America we live in today. My generation, it seems, will leave behind a legacy of slack and disaffection (if you believe Douglas Coupland). I guess I don't fare too well in comparison to everything grandpa did.

But in some ways, they did have it easier. When thinking about D-Day it occurs to me that his generation probably fought in the last truly righteous war. The last example of classical western warfare. The last time one could effectively point a finger to Good and Bad. We have had our chances (Sierre Leone, Rwanda, Darfur) but instead chose to wade into far murkier waters (Iraq, Bosnia, Iraq) to relive the mistakes of our fathers rather than the glory of our grandfathers. Times are certainly different now.

Here's a nod to my grandfather and his brethren, and here's hoping that things will one day be a little simpler again.


At 6/06/2007 4:27 PM, Blogger Carrie M said...

I'll nod with you; thanks to all our grandparents. My grandpa couldn't enter the military b/c of a hearing problem but he repaired ships during WWII. He passed in February and I miss him every. single. day.

At 6/07/2007 12:20 PM, Blogger dara said...

I was thinking about this too, since my grandfather -- who fought in D-Day -- has been really sick lately. Strangely enough, I was thinking about how he had to leave the theater while watching "Saving Private Ryan" because it was so realistic that it was uncomfortable for him. It was one of the only times that he was specific while talking about the war -- usually, he'd only discuss it generalities -- or he'd talk about his time in France after the war ended. "Sepia toned." I like that.

At 6/10/2007 10:09 AM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

My grandpa was at Normandy. Those guys were tough. Made of something that I don't think that I ever will be made of.


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