Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Reflecting on my trip to the National WW2 Museum - New Orleans

Dear readers,

In the wake of another beautiful anniversary of our country, I’d like to leave you with some thoughts and experiences that have opened my eyes just a little bit wider. My husband, a former Marine, and I spent the 4th of July weekend immersed in WWII history which left me a little bit sadder, a little more knowledgeable and a whole lot prouder to be an American.

We started our weekend by driving down to New Orleans to visit the National World War II museum which, as we found out while perusing its halls is located there because of Andrew Higgins, who according to general Dwight Eisenhower was “the man who won the war for us.”  A New Orleans ship builder, he designed the landing craft, the Higgins boat, that was used extensively in the numerous amphibious landings our military had to make throughout WWII.

If you’ve never visited the museum, do so. It will remind you of the industrious nature of this country, the bravery and patriotism of so many that fought to keep us free, and of the ultimate sacrifice too many had to make to ensure that we live in a country where prejudices will never turn us into exterminators and where we bend our knee only before God, and not before a human “God Emperor” who encouraged it’s civilians to commit suicide rather than be taken prisoner.

It struck me that two such incredibly destructive forces, Hitler and Hirohito, could rise to power at the same time on opposite sides of the world and so equally and unequivocally ignore the sanctity of human life. One would try (and even succeed to a horrifying degree) with the power of his oratorical skill to instill hatred towards, and systematically destroy those he viewed as an inferior race, the other elevated notions of honor, duty and pride above ANY human life, even one’s own.

Two forces, so unrelenting and so dedicated, threatened to choke the world of it’s very humanity.

We went in as a nation whose military ranked 17th in the world behind even tiny Romania’s, and came through as a manufacturing, industrial giant which now had the 3rd largest armed forces in the world. Unity, productivity and immeasurable bravery preserved our values and protected countless others from the rapid spread of two brutal regimes.

Let us never forget that we are good people, that we can turn the tide at any point, that valor, bravery and industriousness created and preserved this country, that we must listen to God first and a silver tongue later if at all, that NOTHING, no value system or misguided sense of honor trumps the God given sanctity of human life.