Sobering

This is a discussion on Sobering within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; The wife and I are on vacation in Europe, touring many of the D-Day and WWII battle sites and cemeteries. We went for a walk ...

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Thread: Sobering

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Sobering

    The wife and I are on vacation in Europe, touring many of the D-Day and WWII battle sites and cemeteries.

    We went for a walk in the Bois Jacques and saw that some foxholes still remain from the Battle of the Bulge.



    Sobering to sit in that foxhole and think about the hell that the men of Easy Company went through in the dead of winter and with little winter gear.

    We also visited many of the WWII cemeteries in France and Luxembourg. Here is a photo of one of the many MOH winners graves that we visited:



    While we were visiting the St. James Cemetery in the Brittany region of France, we met Retired B. Gen. Steven Hawkins, Director of Overseas Operations for the American Battlefield Monument Commission. After spending some time in 7 different cemeteries, we sent the General an e-mail commending him on the superb job that his organization does to care for our fallen wounded, and to commend the actions of two of his cemetery superintendents who went out of their way to answer all of our questions and give us guided tours.

    It was very interesting to find out that the most recent burial at the Ardennes Cemetery occurred in 2005. I guess some construction was going on in Belgium, and a body was found. The authorities were called and once the determination was made that it wasn't a recent homcide, an Army Forensics team was called in and they were eventually able to identify to remains via DNA and dental records. His family was contacted and they felt that he should be interred with his comrades. Because of this, Sgt Puckett's name on the wall of the missing now has a rosette beside it, and his grave is right alongside his fellow warriors.

    If anyone is planning such a trip, send me an e-mail and I can provide insight on which museums in Normandy are worth visiting, and which aren't.

    Mike
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

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    I understand that, my first trip into Hickam AFB as we were going to command post I saw the damage remaining on the PACAF building. I asked my instructor about it and was informed it was a reminder of the Pearl Harbor attack. Sobering thought that we were crossing ground where people had fought and died.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    I forgot to add Pvt. McGee's MOH citation:

    Citation: A medical aid man, he made a night crossing of the Moselle River with troops endeavoring to capture the town of Mulheim. The enemy had retreated in the sector where the assault boats landed, but had left the shore heavily strewn
    with antipersonnel mines. Two men of the first wave attempting to work their way forward detonated mines which wounded them seriously, leaving them bleeding and in great pain beyond the reach of their comrades. Entirely on his own initiative, Pvt. McGee entered the minefield, brought out 1 of the injured to comparative safety, and had returned to rescue the second victim when he stepped on a mine and was severely wounded in the resulting explosion. Although suffering intensely and bleeding profusely, he shouted orders that none of his comrades was to risk his life by entering the death-sown field to render first aid that might have saved his life. In making the supreme sacrifice, Pvt. demonstrated a concern for the well-being of his fellow soldiers that transcended all considerations for his own safety and a gallantry in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
    It definitely makes one's vision go blurry when standing in one of these cemeteries, reading citations such as this one on the wall of the visitors center.

    Also, for those who may have visited the Omaha Beach cemetery, a new visitors center/museum opened in 2007 and it is simply amazing. Free of charge, it has a massive exhibit of historical video footage, equipment, displays, etc that allow you to get a much better perspective of the hell these brave young boys and men went through. There is a 5 digit M-1 Garand on display that I envied greatly.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

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    This is one of the main reasons I want to go to Europe.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    I get to have the privilege and honor of being based out of the place where the Japanese first attacked during Pearl Harbor (Kaneohe Bay now Marine Base). It is sobering sometime when you think of it. There are still old bunkers on the hills by our rifle ranges. I've also made it down to Pearl Harbor, and to the "Punchbowl" national cemetery.

    Glad you are getting a lot out of your vacation. I'd like to make it to Normandy sometime.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    My wife begged me to take her to Paris last year. I agreed only if we could do the Normandy tour. You are right. It is a very solemn and awe inspiring sight.

    I am very glad the US has spent the money to keep the cemetaries up so well. It is a fitting tribute to the heroes buried there.
    Nill illigitimi carborundum
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    Captain von Trapp: If the Nazis take over Austria, I have no doubt, Herr Zeller, that you will be the entire trumpet section.
    Herr Zeller: You flatter me, Captain.
    Captain von Trapp: Oh, how clumsy of me - I meant to accuse you.

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    Member Array Martini13's Avatar
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    While reading this post a lump formed in my throat!

    God Bless Them All


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    I hope this doesn't count as a highjack

    Here's a few I took in Normandy. As I entered the cemetary the carillion bells were playing God Bless America.

    It is impressive how well maintained this is. Not a blade of grass out of place.
    Attached Images

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    VIP Member Array jbum's Avatar
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    Gives me chills thanks for the post. God bless them all!!!

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    VIP Member Array Patti's Avatar
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    Very sobering indeed.

    God bless our military men and women.
    Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. — Winston Churchill

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    Mike, I'm glad you made the trip.

    My son in law is from Belgium, so when we do get a chance to go to Europe, we will have our own personal tour guide. My sole purpose for wanting to travel to Europe is to visit Normandy, some of the great battle sites and memorials.

    I hope we can make the trip in the next couple of years. I'll definitely look you up before going to get your insight!
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Bark'n,

    Make sure you hit up a couple of the chocolatiers when you make it to Belgium. Obviously Godiva, but some of the small family run chocolate stores make some amazing chocolate.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

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    Senior Member Array CEW58's Avatar
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    I visited many such places during my years in Europe, but the places that moved me the most were the Concentration Camps. Stark reminders of the great evil mankind is capable of.
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. ~ Albert Einstein

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    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    CEW,

    We are going back in the spring and will be visiting Berchtesgaden and Auschwitz. I imagine the visit to Auschwitz will be very sobering.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

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    We went for a walk in the Bois Jacques and saw that some foxholes still remain from the Battle of the Bulge.
    Gave me the chills. My Dad was on the Allied left flank.

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