XIX Corps in Action D Day to Germany

To honor those who have served, I share these colorful pictorials from our family archives that detail the countries and towns through which the XIX Corps traveled and battled during WWII.

According to the copyrights, these were drawn by “T/5 Henry J. Mac Millan” and “Reproduced by 62nd Engr. Top Co. U.S. Army, Nov 1944”

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They are only a portion of an incredibly detailed written account too large to show in their entirety here.

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Opened, each map is roughly 24″ x 36″.

XIX Corps from Siegfried Line to Victory

Looking for Normal

Have you noticed the weirdness of the rest of the world? You know, the parts of it that make you feel like the normal one even when up to this point you felt like a bit of an outcast.

Lately, I have found it increasingly difficult to wrap my mind around the workings of the world…specifically, the PEOPLE in it.  What a bunch of weirdoes! And you know how sparing I am about the use of exclamation points (thank you Janis.)

I feel like listening to the Pomplamoose’ cover of Mr. Sandman by The Chordettes with my eyes closed while clinging to the hope of waking up in another era when things seemed normal. Not that they were, just that at the moment it seems so.

I don’t think it’s over-romanticizing to desire a world in which people do not slaughter their own, where getting out of bed to go to work, attend a college class, or a movie should not result in a death by gunshot, or where a fanatic’s whim results in an entire village of kidnapped girls. Neither does it seem unreasonable to expect a world free of child molesters, rapists, warlords, and traffickers of humans or drugs, or guns who prey upon the weak and the innocent.

Even though I have an interest in politics, in general I avoid entering into debates about my political opinions. In my experience, doing so frequently devolves into a fit of personal frustration where there are no winners, and the most vocal have an irritating tendency of relentlessly hounding me and others to acquiesce to their point of view. Worse, with little exception, most of my votes for political candidates are a choice of the lesser of evils. What the hell happened to the true patriots? Were there ever any?

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Today, as an American citizen, I reserve my right to speak when the President (who I am stuck with until 2016) acts independently of Congress, making a major policy shift by agreeing to the release of captured terrorists. Did he think I forgot about the attacks of September 11? Did he consider the sacrifices made on D-Day 70 years ago? Did he think about me, we, or us?

And if anyone would choose to twist my words to suggest that the part of the exchange I appear to ignore means that I have anything less than respect and admiration for our veterans who serving to protect our country’s  interests both foreign and domestic, he or she is barking up the wrong flagpole.

I would point out that it appears hypocritical that the same government would on the one hand consider the release of terrorists in exchange for a soldier reasonable, while condemning the actions of Edward Snowden as dangerous. I submit that the real danger lies in our inability to know what went on in either instance. It’s a bad game of Whisper Down the Lane as the media and the government each squash portions, one via editorial license and the other under the guise of national security. It brings to the fore the question of who gets to decide what to redact.

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While I ponder these thoughts trying to figure out where the butter slipped off the noodle, I’ll just sit here and read my little pocket copy of the United States Constitution.

And Michael Bradley – Time Traveler: No, you are NOT the only one.