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Author Topic: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?  (Read 974 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« on: October 21, 2009, 04:30:48 PM »
Philip

Absolutely beautiful. He's a bit hard to understand, so here is the transcript:

Quote
Good morning, Committee. My name is Phillip Spooner and I live at 5 Graham Street in Biddeford. I am 86 years old and a lifetime Republican and an active VFW chaplain. I still serve three hospitals and two nursing homes and I also serve Meals on Wheels for 28 years. My wife of 54 years, Jenny, died in 1997. Together we had four children, including the one gay son. All four of our boys were in the service. I was born on a potato farm north of Caribou and Perham, where I was raised to believe that all men are created equal and I've never forgotten that. I served in the U.S. Army, 1942-1945, in the First Army, as a medic and an ambulance driver. I worked with every outfit over there, including Patton's Third Army. I saw action in all five major battles in Europe, and including the Battle of the Bulge. My unit was awarded Presidential Citations for transporting more patients with fewer accidents than any other [inaudible] in Europe. I was in the liberation of Paris. After the war I carried POW's back from Poland, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, and also hauled hundreds of injured Germans back to Germany. 

    I am here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman at my polling place asked me, "Do you believe in equal, equality for gay and lesbian people?" I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, "What do you think our boys fought for at Omaha Beach?" I haven't seen much, so much blood and guts, so much suffering, much sacrifice. For what? For freedom and equality. These are the values that give America a great nation, one worth dying for.

    I give talks to eighth grade teachers about World War II, and I don't tell them about the horror. Maybe [inaudible] ovens of Buchenwald and Dachau. I've seen with my own eyes the consequences of caste systems and it make some people less than others, or second class. Never again. We must have equal rights for everyone. It's what this country was started for. It takes all kinds of people to make a world war. It does make no sense that some people who love each other can marry and others can't just because of who they are. This is what we fought for in World War II. That idea that we can be different and still be equal.

    My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that three of them would have a certain set of rights, but our gay child would be left out. We raised them all to be hard-working, proud, and loyal Americans and they all did good. I think it's too bad [inaudible] want to get married, they should be able to. Everybody's supposed to be equal in equality in this country. Let gay people have the right to marry. Thank you.

Offline All Powerful Nateboi

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 06:21:53 PM »
As I said on my facebook page, and I'll gladly repeat here.

For all my rants, for all my rage and anger, for all my dick jokes and my cursing, I will never be capable of putting it more beautifully and succinctly as this man's one simple statement, "What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach".

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 07:10:19 PM »
That is just amazing. Breathtaking, succinct, and beautiful.

Offline Brandon

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2009, 07:35:02 PM »
Like with all veterans and soldiers I wish I could shake his hand and say "thank you for your service and sacrifice." I think his message was perfect

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2009, 07:45:24 PM »
He's right.

Offline Kate

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 07:01:36 AM »
(other than voting republican all his life ... :) )

... yes he certainly is right.
 

Offline Ptolemy

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 07:19:19 AM »
I'l go out all pessimstic here and say that the Brits and Americans didn't land in Normandy for some kind of ideologic conflict of interest with Germany. It was simpily stragetic, and it worked out great for the US, securing it's power in the world. Not that I'm against, that, or anything, but the Allied powers would of acted quite differently if they followed their own ideologistic propoganda. This is writing from a perspective of a person who's country was affected by the so called 'Western Betrayal'.

It was a terrible war, all in all, several men down both my familial lines died in the war.

Offline Valerian

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 08:12:42 AM »
Yes, the high-ranking officers, the ones doing all the planning, probably thought mainly of the strategic value, and I'm sure propoganda and wanting to extend Allied influence were also high on the list.  That's not particularly pessimistic, unfortunately.

But Phillip Spooner represents the individuals -- the "regular" soldiers and sailors and what they were thinking and feeling.  My father, grandfather, and great-uncle all fought for their countries (the U.S. and Canada), and at one time or another, they all thought deeply about the higher ideals that had led them to serve.  If you'd asked any of them a similar question, they would all have answered much the same way Mr. Spooner did.  He's speaking for a lot of people, even if not necessarily the ones who were in power at the time.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 02:25:44 AM »
I'l go out all pessimstic here and say that the Brits and Americans didn't land in Normandy for some kind of ideologic conflict of interest with Germany. It was simpily stragetic, and it worked out great for the US, securing it's power in the world. Not that I'm against, that, or anything, but the Allied powers would of acted quite differently if they followed their own ideologistic propoganda. This is writing from a perspective of a person who's country was affected by the so called 'Western Betrayal'.

It was a terrible war, all in all, several men down both my familial lines died in the war.

The political situation in the United States was not amenable to simply continuing World War II into World War III, and ultimately, with half of the world's productive power... no one else could have. Many sympathized with the communist nation and their twenty million dead. Our own military analysts thought that Russia was far more powerful than it actually was, up until we inspected the Russian nuclear program, after the USSR's collapse.

Offline Ptolemy

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 07:26:26 AM »
The political situation in the United States was not amenable to simply continuing World War II into World War III, and ultimately, with half of the world's productive power... no one else could have. Many sympathized with the communist nation and their twenty million dead. Our own military analysts thought that Russia was far more powerful than it actually was, up until we inspected the Russian nuclear program, after the USSR's collapse.

Twenty million dead, when a couple of those millions were actually killed by Soviet attacks and the NKVD, and let's not overlook the fact that the Communists had commited genocide on the Ukranians before Nazi Germany removed Jewish citizenship.

Ah, but ya folks really don't give a damn. I completely understand your point of view.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 08:15:00 AM »
Twenty million dead, when a couple of those millions were actually killed by Soviet attacks and the NKVD, and let's not overlook the fact that the Communists had commited genocide on the Ukranians before Nazi Germany removed Jewish citizenship.

Ah, but ya folks really don't give a damn. I completely understand your point of view.

I think you missed the point of view entirely.

We didn't know.

It was not until long after the war that we learned that Stalin's purges had created a population shortage before World War II. FDR assumed that Stalin was a human being put into a monstrous situation, not a monster comfortable in his own element.

Offline kylie

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Re: What do you think we fought for at Omaha beach?
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 01:40:52 AM »
Our own military analysts thought that Russia was far more powerful than it actually was, up until we inspected the Russian nuclear program, after the USSR's collapse.

     If the BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares is correct, a certain influential faction of them believed that.  Much like a certain faction purveyed evidence that Iraq had WMD.  Both against the conventional wisdom of people who had longer time specialties in strategic intel or in the regions involved.  At least, by later in the Cold War.