Personal Thoughts, Holy Week, Two excellent movies about WW II

Trying  to better organize my thoughts for writing a blog.

I am finding writing a blog more complicated than I thought.  Be patient with me, few readers that I have, while I am able to master this new activity.

Last week was complicated with my getting a cold, due to forgetting my age and doing far too  much on Tuesday.  Over the years it has been proven that if I get too tired I will very possibly contact a cold, leading to bronchitis and at times pneumonia.  This is genetic, but with the advancing years, has become more frequent.  One of the most difficult emotions in these so-called “golden years,” is that of facing reality.  This reality check covers all aspects of life and more so the older one gets.  I will write about this another day.  A close friend of mine died a few weeks ago, and is a sad example about not facing reality.  I am very blessed with children, all of whom loving support me, but thankfully also give me a reality check when needed.  One example:  Just before my 90th birthday party, which was a complete surprise, Lisle kept saying over and over “Fourth of July is coming and we are doing our annual brunch, plus dinner and fireworks at the Club .  Do not overdo and get sick!”  I am so glad he did.

Thus Holy Week was spent being very careful, pacing myself, and keeping my annoying cold to just that, a cold, so that I could enjoy visiting family and Easter Sunday service and dinner.   On the positive side, I took time to write many emails and letters and make many long-neglected calls.  In addition, downloaded and watched two outstanding films on my computer – “The Darkest Hour” and “Dunkirk.”

Good Friday is to me a very sacred observance . Due my cold,  for the first time in at least 30 years, I was unable to attend.  As a form of observation,  I took time around noon to read my bible and do a  study on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.   This reminded me of the horror, brutality, and sorrow of the crucification suffered by Jesus.  I have always felt, at least for me, it is important to observe Good Friday to truly appreciate the triumphant joy of Easter Sunday.

Comments and reaction on “Darkest Hour,” and “Dunkirk,” both movies about WWII

The Darkest Hour, portraying Sir Winston Churchill, during the early days of  WWII, was beautifully done.  The script stayed close to historical accuracy.  The portrayal of Churchill, a man for his  time and his mission, who in spite of his flaws, rose to the challenge, with determination, courage, strong leadership,and a inspired way with words,  His thrilling speech “We will fight on the beaches,…..We will NEVER give  up,”  brought the UK together to withstand what seemed like imminent defeat.  Grandson Chris and I many years ago took a tour through the underground command  center from which the Brits managed the war. It was a impressive visit which reminded me and taught young Chris about the courage, tenacity of the British people .  There is a book written about the Women’s Institute telling how women from all socio-economic groups, especially from the rural areas, were a big factor in saving England.  Remaking their mindset and setting to work in mens jobs, they produced food, for their island country, when it was impossible to import.  The TV series Home Fires was based on this. I found this book awesome.  What these women, some whom had seldom left their farms, accomplished is nothing short of miraculous!!! The name of the book is ‘Home Fires:  The Story of the Women’s Institute in the Second World War,” written by Julie Summers. Once the US joined in the fight in  Europe , Mrs. Roosevelt became interested in the Women’s Institute.

I was always interested in news and remember this time well.  On our side of the Atlantic was a United States divided on whether to get into this war or not.   Many thousands of  Yanks just a generation earlier had died in Europe defeating the army of the German Kaiser.

Will inject some family history here.  My father in WW I was a Lt. in the  US Army Dental Corp and my uncle, serving in the Army Medical Corps, ended his surgical career with a hand wound.  Your paternal grandfather also served in WW I. I do not know in what capacity. I do know that after the WW I he was active in helping write the NRA and during WWII he served as a member of  some war time committee . My father tried to enlist in WWII  but was turned down for active duty to his age and/or health.

Churchill was a master politician and worked with president Franklin D Roosevelt, to get help, but Pres. Rooselvelt’s hands were tied with anti-war sentiment and legislation.  Finally a way was found to help with a “Lend Lease Agreement” to get supplies to  a beleaguered England.     I believe the supplies were shipped by a brave Merchant Marine and the highly competent German submarines prowled the seas to destroy as many of these ships as possible.  The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ended any vacillation on the part of  US citizens.  We Went To War!!

Dunkirk  was about the 400,000 plus Allied soldiers stranded on the beach at Dunkirk as the invading German armies closed in for the kill.  It is an emotional movie.  I remember this incident so well listening to the radio as news came in about this amazing feat. Churchill refused to surrender and calling Britain a seafaring nation, he appealed to owners of all small craft, personal or otherwise, 50 to 100 feet, to cross the channel and bring these men home.  The courage of these boat owners as they faced strafing from German planes, will always be legend in the history of Britain.  I need to also mention are bravery of the RAF who fought off the strafing German planes, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.  I have forgotten the number of boats who answered the call, but it was huge.  Miraculously they brought back around 300,000 men, saving, literally, the British army, to fight again.  These brave small-boat owners made more than one trip and not all returned.  Paul Gallico wrote a  beautiful small story, “The Snow Goose,” about this invasion.

 This is already too long.  Easter Sunday – will write about this tomorrow –





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