Jill "xtingu" Knapp

Traveling musician. Singer. Road warrior in bursts. Dork. Easy to spot. Gauche eyeshadow fan. Unreasonably happy.

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Thinking a lot about D-Day today. The NY Times had a lot of really powerful, moving articles with gorgeous, haunting photos in it. 

I cannot understand how some assfaces can look at those photos and read the accounts and think either that the holocaust was fake, the photos are fake, that Hitler and/or Nazis were fine people, or any of that.  

Reading that there are only 3% of WWII veterans left (who are all over 90) makes me wonder how we can make this history feel real and urgent to younger generations who only think of WWII as some random they had to memorize for a history test once. 

You hear so many people say, "My dad fought in the war, but he never ever would talk about it." So any chance of hearing stories first-hand were probably scarce to begin with, and now are dwindling so rapidly. 

When I was in high school, I was one of those people who didn't care about history, but now it fascinates me. Matt's folks take tons of classes at Delaware's Center for Lifelong Learning, and in a few years I'll be old enough to attend (I believe you have to be 50, though it might be 55). Matt's dad has taken a few classes on WW1, The Great Depression, WWII, and beyond. He said he's learned so much from listening to these historians with a knack for public speaking/teaching. 

Anyway, here are links to some really interesting articles if you wanna check 'em out:

D-Day in Photos: Heroes of a More Certain Time. (The photos are unreal. There's this one shot of a bunch of bandaged guys waiting to be taken to the hospital, and I noticed one guy up front has impossibly great hair considering where he is and what he just went through that day. But then it occurred to me that his big, boofy hair that I consider "impossibly great hair" was WAY too long at that time. Matt's dad said you could tell how long someone had been fighting by how long their hair was.)

Their Fathers Never Spoke of the War. Their Children Want to Know Why. (This article is about how historians are able to piece together pretty detailed pictures and descriptions of a particular soldier's every day life during the war, thanks to meticulous recordkeeping. Some of those records were damaged in a fire, but what remains is still pretty impressive.)

‘Archaeology of D-Day’ Aims to Preserve What the Soldiers Left BehindThe title says it all. 


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Related: I also worry that the people with memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be gone soon. We're not going to get nuke deniers, exactly, but we could be in for a generation of leaders who just... need to try it for themselves. :-O As awful as Trump is, at least he dislikes war as a tool of statecraft. Unless it tweaks Obama.