Monday, June 15, 2009

June 6, 2009 - 65th Anniversary of D-Day

Dear Sis~

Today is the 65th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion, which always makes me reminisce about Dad and the years he spent fighting across North Africa, Italy and Europe. Whenever I see the fields of white marble crosses stretching across the neatly trimmed green fields of the military cemeteries of Europe I get choked up, thinking of the countless young men represented by each stone, struck down in the prime of life, many of them buddies of Dad who fell at his side. Coincidentally, I just finished reading The First Men In, by Ed Ruggero, which vividly portrays the role of the 82nd Airborne as they jumped into Normandy just before the actual seaborne invasion. In keeping with the role of the airborne troopers, they fought savage street-to-street and house-to-house battles, suffering terrific casualties, dying anonymously in unnamed fields, ditches and tangles of woods. The book tells the story matter-of-factly, without hubris or glorification of war, simply witnessing the great bravery of young men fighting, most of all, for the sake of their brothers in arms. I closed the book, as I do all military histories, mourning the loss of so many young men, and countless civilians - women, children and old men - caught and killed in the middle, and reaffirming how much I hate war...
On a gentler subject, I just saw the movie Moulin Rouge, a sort of campy musical starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. Despite being an over the top production (as it was intended to be) the acting is terrific and the story timeless. I can't imagine the time and energy it took to put something like this together, not to mention the creative talent. I enjoyed it immensely, not least because it reinforced my admiration for true creative geniuses (if you see the movie, you'll understand that my reference is to not just those who made the movie but also to the theatre types who are the subject of the movie's plot).
That's it for now, Sis!
Love, Bill

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