(5th in a series of posts on Memorial Day)
There is one segment in this DVD [the Lou Reda “The Air War in HD” documentary three posts back] that tears me apart. A B-17 returning from a raid over Europe has been shot up so badly that the hydraulics and electrics won’t allow the belly turret gunner to get out of his bubble, nor will the landing gear be able to be lowered. To listen to those voices, to know that someone’s son, brother, husband will be crushed to death when they land and there is absolutely nothing that can be done to prevent it, is heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. The fellow who flew with the Tuskegee Airmen summed it up rather well when he comments about each white cross representing someone between the ages of 20 and 40; that the people who cause wars aren’t the ones who fight them; and he’s absolutely right. And, in our lifetime we need only look at Vietnam to see how the youth of our country were wasted because of politics, over 50,000 of them. We shouldn’t need walls and monuments to honor our dead, who absolutely deserve our undying respect, we need to elect statesmen/women who can keep us out of war while maintaining our sovereignty. I’ll be remembering Jack Derrico from my neighborhood tomorrow. He was killed in Vietnam in March 1968, over fifty years ago. The memories I have of the loss his family suffered through are indelibly imprinted on my mind. His father, a World War II U.S. Army veteran who was as patriotic a man as you could know, hated our government once his “Jackie” was killed, until his dying day.