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Old November 11th, 2005, 01:35   #16
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It is the Soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, who’s coffin is draped by the flag, and who allows the protester to burn the flag.

God Bless the Soldier.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 01:53   #17
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Like I said in the other thread, we don't have enough rememberance days.
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Old November 11th, 2005, 11:44   #18
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Rememberance

On this day … on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we pause… to remember…

This day calls forth the shadows of long lost souls.. We remember this day the ending of the "War to end all Wars" the first World War which ended on November 11 1918, 87 years ago now. Almost all the warriors who strived for freedom in that war are gone.. Their voices forever mute, their memories.. lost to us. Their bodies dust, like their comrades who fell in that war.
Now the veterans of the Second war…too are drifting away .. Time silencing that which tyranny could not, Frail men.. Little left of the bold soldiers that fought.. That carried freedom with them into the mouth of evil..How many will remain..next year.. The year after.. To remind us?

Even today.. Canadians strive in troubled parts of the world to carry the message of freedom… Friends have fallen… returned from the heat.. Dust..forever changed.. Their souls darkened by war, eyes..still bright with youth. But showing the signs of having seen too much.

There is a cost to the luxury of being able to forget, to carry on our lives.. With regard only for ourselves..We don't pay it… others have by mixing blood with earth, screams with final silence, the least we can do is,

Remember
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Old November 11th, 2005, 12:30   #19
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"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. "

Something to keep in mind the other 364 days, but more so today...
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Old November 11th, 2005, 13:47   #20
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In all the things I have done in my life, there is no greater wisdom I have learned than the tales told to me at the knee of the old soldiers in my family, and the relatives of those who did not make it back.

I have relatives who fought on both sides of World War II, and I take this time to remember them all equally.

It is only the greatest of men who have the courage to make the ultimate sacrifice for an abstract concept. None can be placed higher.

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Old November 12th, 2005, 23:03   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by |2enegade
How do the Germans and other nations once belonging to the Axis celebrate this day?
Unfortunately, they could not possibly celebrate it with the same degree of passion that we do, for when we celebrate we not only remember, but we thank too. We remember and thank those who laid their lives down for our nation, for the purpose of good to rise above evil. But unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the German veterans... Of course, the former axis nations can still remember for the sake of not forgetting, and can still thank the allies for releasing their nation from the grips of angst and terror, however, there most be a level of personal anguish for these people that they cannot thank their own veterans, just merely remember them as "those poor souls" who were brainwashed to lay down their lives for evil. Surely they cannot view their veterans as heros as we do ours, but by the same token, there must be some sort of emotional conflict if they were to thank our veterans for killing theirs (because, in essence and without frill, that is how the war was won). How must it feel for a German who lost his great-grandfather in the war to thank an allied soldier who possibly killed him? Of course, logic dictates that it was done for the best of all, but surely it cannot hold the same weight in gratitude that we do when we thank our veterans...
Every biography or memoir I've read written by front line soldiers are all the same. Irregardless of the political, ethnic, religious cause of the war, once the shooting starts and things turn ugly, the only bond that will keep a unit together and not descend into insanity is the one formed from comradeship. Brother helping brother survive the chaos. Of all the documentaries and interviews of veterans I've seen in the last couple of days, the thing that struck me the most is the lip service they pay to the cause of securing democracy or whatever the cause celeb is. Only when they speak of fellow soldiers and fallen comrades do you see real anguish, passion and sadness. They were thrust into war by powers out of their control and chose to kill the enemy not because they were nazis, or commies, or democrats, but because if they didn't, their buddies would get killed. Most often this was the motivation to take another human life as most people aren't natural born killers.

Renegade.....you asked how the Germans celebrate this day? I can't speak for the veterans but I pray it's in the exact same manner as any other soldier. To deny them this, is akin to reaching into their chest and ripping out their soul. Unconscionable. As for German citizens and those of German descent, again, I can't speak for them, but I, personally, swell with pride at their achievements on the battlefield and am epathetic to the point of tears at their personal and collective sacrifice. I have a close relative who endured the ordeal on the Eastern Front and an uncle who didn't survive. I think about this every day and still cannot grasp the magnitude of their experiences. I often think that it would be better to die in battle than to live with the memories for 60yrs. Tortured psyche indeed.

To dump on these veterans political guilt is pure, unpasteurized liquid bullshit.

I just wanted to respond to your first question, the rest is non-sensical.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 23:33   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by |2enegade
How do the Germans and other nations once belonging to the Axis celebrate this day?
The Volkstrauertag (People´s Mourning Day) takes place in Germany on the 3rd Sunday in November is the German military "Memorial Day". It is a federal holiday and it commemorates the german war dead and includes not just soldiers, but the victims of wars, those who died in concentration camps, or became victims of ethnic cleansing.

EDIT: To add to that November 11th is also a celebration of the allied victory and the signing of the Armistice, so, in part, November 11th is uniquely an allied celebration that those of the axis countries wouldn't celebrate. But they do eulogise their war dead and have monuments and thank their citizen soldiers pretty much the way we do. Its the human condition.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 00:54   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memel
... I, personally, swell with pride at their achievements on the battlefield and am epathetic to the point of tears at their personal and collective sacrifice. I have a close relative who endured the ordeal on the Eastern Front and an uncle who didn't survive. I think about this every day and still cannot grasp the magnitude of their experiences. I often think that it would be better to die in battle than to live with the memories for 60yrs. Tortured psyche indeed.
Not insinuating that you are evil or anything, I understand that battle, both for and against a good cause is still heroic battle all the same, but how can one be truly proud of the German's cause and fighting for that cause? They were, for all intents and purposes, fighting for evil. Thus wouldn't it follow that being proud of their struggle would mean to be proud for the fight for evil and oppression?
To me, the true and ultimate display of heroism for a German soldier would not be his courage on the battlefield, but rather his courage to stay off it.
Of course, as I stated, the act of heaving your fragile frame of easily penetrable flesh over a mound of barely defendable earth to enter the crossfire of M1's, Thompsons and .50 cals displays overwhelming amounts of courage and fortitude, however to do so with the intent to promote evil seems to rob all such heroism away from the act.
So although I completely understand the need to commemorate the struggles of the German people and soldiers equally as well as the Allied's, I am still reluctantly hestitant to do the same with battlefield courage. Such commemoration for courage should be exclusively bestowed upon Allied soldiers only, for how can you commemorate the German's battliefield courage equally as well as the Allied's when, said courage and success put forth by an Allied soldier yielded good, however same said courage put forth by an Axis soldier yielded evil?

If you answer yes, that we should commemorate the German soldiers equally as well as the Allied's for their courage, could you imagine how disturbing that would be...:
"We commemorate the Princess Patricia X division for their courage in the face of the enemy when they assaulted and captured two German pillboxes along the coast of Normandy, allowing the invasion on D-Day to proceed and become a success."
if the same commemoration for courage was bestowed on the Germans?..:
"We commemorate the Storm Struppes X division for their courage in the face of the enemy when they assaulted and destroyed two hundred Allied landing craft along the coast of Normandy, allowing the invasion on D-Day to grind to a halt and fail."
This clearly presents a serious moral dilemma...
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Old November 13th, 2005, 01:05   #24
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Soldiers everywhere are trained to essentially do as they are told, by their superiors. The men and women of any army (including the German's during WW1 and 2) are worthy of commemoration for their bravery in the face of ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMING FORCES. Imagine if you will, these German's you mention in their Pillboxes. Could you imagine the sheer terror they must have felt as they witnessed a naval and aerial armada the likes of which this planet has never seen before? AND THEY STAYED AT THEIR POSTS!!

WW2 was much more than Normandy. If you've read about other important struggles of the last 50 some odd years, Stalingrad for one, put German soldiers and Russian soldiers through a living hell, in the name of their country.

I'm not trying to defend any one political ideal or religious belief here but merely try to demonstrate that the soldier is a pawn. A pawn that is controlled by their government. You cannot condemn a soldier for being a soldier!
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Old November 13th, 2005, 01:18   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper_kill
Soldiers everywhere are trained to essentially do as they are told, by their superiors. The men and women of any army (including the German's during WW1 and 2) are worthy of commemoration for their bravery in the face of ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMING FORCES. Imagine if you will, these German's you mention in their Pillboxes. Could you imagine the sheer terror they must have felt as they witnessed a naval and aerial armada the likes of which this planet has never seen before? AND THEY STAYED AT THEIR POSTS!!

WW2 was much more than Normandy. If you've read about other important struggles of the last 50 some odd years, Stalingrad for one, put German soldiers and Russian soldiers through a living hell, in the name of their country.

I'm not trying to defend any one political ideal or religious belief here but merely try to demonstrate that the soldier is a pawn. A pawn that is controlled by their government. You cannot condemn a soldier for being a soldier!
In case of Russian soldiers, it was not in the name of their country. It was in the name of their relatives, friends, and everyone. Hitler had a master plan for Slavs to be either made slaves or killed, and there was no Atlantic ocean or English channel to stop him.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 01:30   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper_kill
Soldiers everywhere are trained to essentially do as they are told, by their superiors. The men and women of any army (including the German's during WW1 and 2) are worthy of commemoration for their bravery in the face of ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMING FORCES. Imagine if you will, these German's you mention in their Pillboxes. Could you imagine the sheer terror they must have felt as they witnessed a naval and aerial armada the likes of which this planet has never seen before? AND THEY STAYED AT THEIR POSTS!!
WW2 was much more than Normandy. If you've read about other important struggles of the last 50 some odd years, Stalingrad for one, put German soldiers and Russian soldiers through a living hell, in the name of their country.
I'm not trying to defend any one political ideal or religious belief here but merely try to demonstrate that the soldier is a pawn. A pawn that is controlled by their government. You cannot condemn a soldier for being a soldier!
Yes, whisper, I afford for all this when I stated that courage is still courage, HOWEVER certain forms of courage should not be commemorated. Commemoration means encouragement. If you commemorate someone for doing something, you are essentially encouraging them to do it again if the need should arise. So by commerating the courage of German's to stand their ground and to fight back you are encouraging their cause, which, natuarlly, was evil.
Of course a soldier is the pawn of the government. I am not suggesting that we smite ex-German soldiers, merely that we refrain from commemorating their courage. There is a large gap between shame and heroism. Just because you are not heroic does not mean you are a coward.
The goverment essentially dictates the details of heroism. Namely, if you are a soldier (pawn as you say) for a goverment whose regiment is good, then fighting for said goverment is good. However if you are a soldier for a government whose regiment is evil, then your good is not done through fighting for them, but rather through not fighting for them.
What I am getting at is that the rules of heroism and commemoration should not be blindly taken as equal for both sides. These rules were completely distorted given the nature of the completely different causes for fighting. Thus neither soldier should be disgraced by fighting (they were forced to), however, there can only be one soldier that is commemorated for it (the one fighting for good).
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Old November 13th, 2005, 01:31   #27
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I can't speak on behalf of a russian soldier as I don't know any, nor was I present at the battle of Stalingrad, but, from my readings, their fight WAS for very much for mother Russia and was most definitely an issue of national pride. Common sense tells you that part of their motivations were for their families and relatives as would be with any "normal" human being.

The German's had something far more difficult in front of them to deal with than an English Channel or Atlantic Ocean, a Russian winter on vast, open steppes. It was a matter of Hitler's fanatical preoccupation with conquering Stalingrad mixed with the devote patriotism and "winter legs" of the red army that made Stalingrad the absolute blood bath it was.

However, maybe we should try to maintain the topic at hand.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 01:32   #28
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Sorry, commemoration does not mean encouragement!

"Commemorate: To honor the memory of with a ceremony" as stated in the dictionary!

I'm not here to defend Germany, Russia, the U.S., England or any other country with centuries of blood on their hands! I'm here to defend the soldier, and I think you are distorted in your statements regarding German heroism and commemoration of the German soldiers.

A lot of this arguement depends on your point of view. I feel a German mother who lost a son in a war that she may or may not have believed in has as much right to grieve and commemorate as we do. It's easy to see our reference point more difficult to see others.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 01:35   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper_kill
Sorry, commemoration does not mean encouragement!
"Commemorate: To honor the memory of with a ceremony" as stated in the dictionary!
lol, how did I know you would go and take the literal meaning of it... :smack:
Think of an act that you would commemorate but not encourage under the same circumstances..... Can't think of one? that's because they are inseperable from one another. Yes they do not literally mean the same thing, but what a language that would be if every word did eh?
please, for next time, think outside of the box okay?

Anyways, back on topic:
It would be immoral to commemorate German soldiers for battlefield courage, for this courage was inacted for the intent of evil, and such a thing should not be commemorated.
Hey whipser_kill, I am very courageous, I had the courage to kill
1) 500 SS soldiers during the battle of the bulge, freeing cities from opression, murder, and tyrannic rule
2) 500 allies so that they could not release our starving Jewish prisoners whom we kept in suffering
Which form of courage would you commemorate me for?
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Old November 13th, 2005, 01:39   #30
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Unfortunately, when folks "write" things, I take them literally!
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