Somber Day

in #ourofthinair2 months ago (edited)

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It isn’t too often you see American flags flying in Europe, I think I’ve only seen one since arriving in Italy a month ago. Yesterday, when we saw several American flags flying high above the tree line in Nettuno, we went in for a closer look.

We took a train out of Rome to the port town of Anzio, about an hour long ride, with the intention of having lunch and getting a look at the Tyrrhenian Sea, then we’d head back—it’s our last weekend in Italy. What we didn’t expect to find was the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial—I’m glad we did.

In the months and years leading up to August, 1943, Adolf Hitler and his combined military forces conquered more than 20 European countries including Italy, all the way into Rome. The liberation of Sicily began in July that year when the United States stepped in to end Hitler’s attempt at world domination by taking over the beaches of Anzio and Nettuno, along the Italian coast, and continued moving north until Hitler finally succumbed to American forces in 1945. #history.

The Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial was established in January, 1944—a 77 acre plot of land on the Italian western coast dedicated in 1956 to honor the 7,858 American soldiers who lost their lives protecting the world from Adolf Hitler.

With only one way in and one way out, guarded by armed military personnel, you’re first met by a giant pond to walk around with a handful of geysers spraying water about 10 feet in the air. Beyond the pond is a long stretch of grass, roughly 300 yards long, leading to the monument dedicated to the fallen soldiers with all 7,858 crosses standing on either side. Before entering the monument is a bronze statue of two soldiers with their arms around each other.

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As you walk inside, you’re first drawn to the American flags standing on the either side of the passage inscribed marble. On the ground is a map of Italy and surrounding territory once occupied by German forces. Immediately following the picture of the map is looking directly at the ceiling—a giant piece of art featuring men, women, snakes, birds, and all kinds of different animals.

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The wall behind the flags and each of the surrounding walls, four in total, are marble and have the names of each fallen American soldier, their rank, date and location they were killed during World War II inscribed on them—seven thousand, eight hundred and fifty eight. As you exit the monument, prior to the remaining rows of memorial sites leaving the cemetery, are finely groomed hedges with Stars and Stripes shaped into them and a fountain at the far end.

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It's nice to see that a country has recognized the soldiers that have given their lives, on foreign soil, in an effort to halt tyranny.
You would think that after WWII, and the devastation caused by the war, humanity would have learned its lesson and would avoid any similar situations.
But, the reality of it all is that the powerful will continue to feast on the weak.
I have said it before, but it is worthy of repeating. If the people in power were to put their own lives or the lives of their loved ones on the line, I have a feeling this world would become a more peaceful place.
That in itself is a reason to have a draft, where everyone serves, not just the folks at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder.
Once again you've enlightened us, as I had no idea that this cemetery even existed.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall where there are over 58,000 names inscribed in the granite of the wall, of the soldiers who lost their lives, sparks the same kind of emotions.
I can remember like it was yesterday, sitting around in my friend's basement with six other dudes as dates were pulled from a tumbler. The first go-around of this process was done by writing all 365 days on individual slips of paper. The slips of paper were then placed in the tumbler and drawn randomly.
I was not exposed to the first lottery drawing, as the cutoff was for young men born between 1944 and 1950.
Several of my older buddies that were exposed to the draft had numbers drawn in the first 100. Within a month two of them had enlisted in the navy in order to avoid putting their boots on foreign soil. Another friend of mine just waited for the call. He ended up as a gunner on a helicopter. His copter was shot down six months after he was drafted, and his name is inscribed on the wall.
The first 195 birthdates drawn were later called to serve in the order they were drawn.
The second attempt at making sure that everyone was exposed to the lottery was done by placing all 26 letters in the tumbler and drawing each one randomly. The first letter drawn was "J", which was assigned number 1.
Among men with the same birthdate, the order of induction was determined by the ranks of the first letters of their last, first, and middle names. Anyone with initials "JJJ" would have been first within the shared birthdate, followed by "JGJ", "JDJ", and "JXJ"; anyone with initials "VVV" would have been last.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draft_lottery_%281969%29

The reason for the lottery of 1969 was to address perceived inequities in the draft system as it existed previously, and to add more military personnel towards the Vietnam War.
Between 1965 and 1972 the draft provided 2,215,000 service members to the U.S. military.

With a lot of luck, I was never called to serve.
Thanks for providing all of us with another great post, @dandays.

Draft lottery (1969)
On December 1, 1969 the Selective Service System of the United States conducted two lotteries to determine the order of call to military service in the Vietnam War for men born from January 1, 1944 to December 31, 1950. These lotteries occurred during a period of conscription in the United States that lasted from 1947 to 1973. It was the first time a lottery system had been used to select men for military service since 1942.

Thank you for chiming in, @wikitextbot. First time I’ve seen this bot, tell your creator it’s a good idea.

Dude! I got the chills twice reading this. I don’t know if you’re interested or not, but I think an article type response to @dandays with this type of information would give an entire platform chills. Thank you for being so detailed. I think it would also cause a lot of people to think and I doubt I’d be the only one responding. Man, what a head of knowledge you walk around with.

Brother Sweed, my uncle, he was my mother’s oldest brother was drafted to Vietnam. I didn’t know the why’s and how’s until now but I knew my uncle—RIP Uncle Paul. They told me he was never the same when he got back. The uncle I knew was in a lot of trouble man, a lot! King pin in the Hells Angels, slung a lot of illegal substances, that type of trouble. The last stint he did was a 9 year sentence and then his hay days finally caught up to him about 5 years ago. My point is, I was told he was quiet, to himself, and really smart before that war. God bless him and those 58,000 names—10x more than I saw and the ones I saw were unfathomable.

Man, I didn’t even say thanks for reading this article—“thank you.” Neither of us expected to find that memorial, either. It just ‘showed up.’ I didn’t plan on writing anything based on our trip that day, I’ve been doing that lately, I didn’t take one picture of anything else all day long, but I couldn’t help it once we found that memorial. God bless your buddy—tragic.

It wasn’t until you explained your reasoning for required enlistment when I wrote about Qusay that I thought about it. Although I would be opposed to it if the circumstances consisted of fighting against your own people, I’ve since changed my opinion to agree with yours. As far as foreign turf, throwing yourself on the front lines in the name of 1%, I think a required enlistment is a good idea.

Thank you for this response, sir. And thank you for appreciating the way I put it together, one thing I hope i didn’t paint was blame. I’ll never discredit the people as i am fully aware it’s the people in power responsible for these things. I hope you’re having a great week, Bob, we’ll talk again soon.

This sounds like something @galenkp might be interested in.

How’s it goin @tarazkp? Thanks for checking this one out. It’s a spot we didn’t know existed until arriving there, I’m glad we found it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, sir.

It looks like a peaceful spot to reflect upon too. Enjoy your day :)


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I really appreciate your support, @c-squared, THANK YOU bigger than that. Have a great week you guys.

Wow .. When I think of history comes a deep breath. There was a lot of tragedy because of Adolf Hitler.

Your photos are great as usual. Quality and original content. Thank you.

voted, resteemed.

Hey how’s it goin, @avare? Thanks for checking this one out, I appreciate it and thank you even more for your sincerity.

We weren’t expecting to find this memorial, I love it when things work out the way they’re supposed to. Thank you for the Resteem, your support means a lot, I’ll see you on the next one.

Everything go on well. Thank you very much. i hope you are fine? When I read your post, I feel there. . I can imagine there myself thanks to you take a lot of photo :)

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@eii. I just saw on steemworld you mentioned me on BernieSanders next generation article, wow! Believe it or not, and this should be tough to believe, 😉 I’m at a loss for words. With so many quality content producers, I’m proud to be at the top of your list. Thank you so much for the mention, happy Friday to you and yours. More articles to come, it’s my pleasure sharing my content with you. It’s an honor to be regarded by you.

It is my pleasure @dandays.
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I appreciate the support, @travelfeed. Thanks for the clarification, I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right.

What an interesting post @dandays, beautiful photos. I think it's awesome that the American soldiers were honored there. War is such an awful thing, but Hitler needed to be stopped. So much lose of life though. Sad.

War. It’s terrible. Millions of humans willing to slay each other for no agenda of their own. Man, if only we were more like John Lennon.

Thank you for checking this one out, @farm-mom, I appreciate all of the support you’ve shown me, both you and Sweed have been motivational ever since your arrival.

“Somber.” That wOrd was Pura’s idea—she nailed it.

Thank you so much for sharing this amazing pictures and your journey !

My pleasure, @anonymity5! Thank you even more for following along and appreciating these articles I’ve been releasing. It’s what keeps me going.

Nice posts and great photos. It's a pity that, since WWII, the American people allowed the US Government from being the good guys to terrorists. Now it's the US that needs to be stopped on their plans for world domination.

Oh, and congrats on your @esteemapp upvote. They have become an endangered species lately.

Yeah, they come and go, esteem has hooked me up twice in a row now. Right place at the right time I guess.

US and world domination—I’m sure nobody wants to read this but every country with a Rothschild bank on their territory is the terrorist. Everyone who points their finger at the TV should maybe consider pointing it at the ATM screen next time they do a cash withdrawal.

Anyone who believes the American people are responsible for Cambridge Analytica is watching the wrong screen. And anyone who believes America is the only country with a Rothschild ATM hasn’t been paying attention to their own financial institution.

There I go again.. saying what I think. Thank you, @trincowski, for saying what you think. And thanks for your continued support man, have a great week. Don’t be a stranger.

It's amazing how immaculately-kept these war memorials and graveyards are kept. I have been to many in France and Belgium (World War One memorials) and it never failed to amaze me how well-kept they were.

It's also always very sombre of course as you say. I went to an Australian memorial in Polygon Wood, a memorial for the 5th Australian Division and the woods surrounding the site were, for lack of a better word, eerie. So many died there...We wandered the wood, in and out of the German bunkers that lay there still - Huge concrete monoliths, but broken and decaying...So sad a place. It was the only one that gave me a strong sense of disquiet.

At the top of the Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, France is a tall tower that people can climb...Once there one has a sweeping 360° view of the fields around that once were killing-fields. In the second world war it was used as a snipers position and one can see bullet holes in its walls from where the snipers were shot at...Funny how history repeats and humans never seem to learn from the mistakes of the past.

We spent a week on the Western Front and not a day went by in which we were't shedding a tear for our Aussie soldiers, and indeed all who fell in that war and the second also. Very emotional.

This cemetery and memorial you went to looks amazing and I imagine also that your visit possibly brought emotions to you. Nice post. Thank you.

Man! Just as your articles, sir, this was a well written response. I wanted to leave you a quick reply because my wife is rushing me out the door to enjoy a cup of coffee on our last day here but know that I’ll be back.

Thank you for this comment, @galenkp, God bless you and Faith. I’ll return later this afternoon with a more deserving response.

Thanks sir, you're welcome...It was a good post worthy of a better comment than I left actually. War history is a hobby of mine, mainly Australian war history but in researching that I always come across other histories as well. Thanks for responding and now...

Got get some coffee with your hottie! (Sort of rhymes huh) 😄

I'm off to bed...First day back at work for the year in 8 hours...🙈

I’m back, just like that, not so much a flash but back is back as a matter of fact. Nah.. I didn’t notice your rhyme at all.

Quickly, are the French as rude as Italians? Dang, @galenkp, the people around here are pretty bad, they can’t even walk cordially, it’s pretty bad. I never knew a culture where children and old ladies think it’s customary to shoulder check you on the sidewalk. To be more specific—“underwhelming.” Thank you @tarazkp for calling this dude over here, I love these kind of responses. Since I got you, thanks again for the curation, sir!

I first used “depressing” as we exited the memorial, it was my wife who switched it to somber or, sombre, depending where you’re geographically located. Thank you for describing your experience, I read it as though I was right there. About repeated mistakes, man, I often find myself wondering when Jesus is going to come fix this mess. Depressing,somberly, emotional, all of them work. When a memorial plot is a “thank you,” as beautifully kept as they are, I believe there’s something seriously wrong with that picture.

I was just saying to someone else who had no issues calling the US a terrorist that theres a dude named Rothschild running their country too. I was just trying to share this memorial experience without pointing fingers—I hope I achieved that. I’m a true believer in it’s not the people that are the issue, it’s the people in power. Hopefully I’m not wrong in believing if more people pointed their finger at the reflection in the ATM screen each time they do a cash withdrawal and less time pointing it at the TV screen, maybe an article regarding a memorial in celebration for 7,858 oxygen breathing human beings would’ve never been written.

Nah.. that memorial didn’t get me emotional at all, @galenkp, can you tell?

Thanks a lot for your support, sir, and thanks for drawing out this winded response. Have a great week, don’t be a stranger.

We have found a couple of rude people in both France and Italy, although nothing I would call out of the ordinary. Shoulder-checking people...I think it's common through society as people feel that they have the right of way simply because they are there...On the planet. That feeling of entitlement has permeated every aspect of society it seems. We always start each conversation off in the language of the country and so we tend to find people more receptive; They soon learn we are not locals and either speak more slowly or in english. It's worked so far.

There's many ignorant people out there though, and whilst I try to avoid them, sometimes we cross paths. I don't like it when we do. Still, I can't change them so I make sure I live my best version of life and leave them to their own de(vices).

I was just trying to share this memorial experience without pointing fingers—I hope I achieved that.

You did, in my mind anyway.

I think you've mentioned one of the biggest problems with society these days...It never wants to look at itself in the mirror...People don't. It easier to find someone to blame than look at oneself and find fault there...It's better for the ego. Blame is negative but it seems blame is the new black, or at least easier that ownership and responsibility. Blame is fashionable, as is the feeling of entitlement.

Have yourself a good week.

Danget, @galenkp! You’re such a good responder I’m unable to split without saying we’re boarding a plane in a few hours and I’m about to jump in the shower. But know I appreciate this response so much that I’ll be coming back (again).

Thank you for being cool! Talk to you soon.

Get your ass in the shower or you might miss that plane!

Catch you on the flip-side. (That means later.)

Safe and sound in England, @galenkp. I just read your responses again. For the record, feel free to do that any time cuz they sure are a fresh way to wake up! Thanks once again for your support. You, too, @tarazkp, I’m glad I caught both of your attention with this one. Does the “kp” part mean ya’all are related? 🤔

See you guys soon. Enjoy the rest of your week fellas.

Great to hear that you've made it back to old Blighty safe and sound. Now get Pura better so you can start travelling again! 😄

Yes, tarazkp is my younger, but much smarter, brother. Born on the same day but 9 years apart.

Thank you kindly for the well wishes. Man, I can’t wait to update you with good news. We’re actually headed to a general practitioner in about three hours.

The same day?! That’s fascinating!! Eh, one of my best friends shares his birthday with his daughter, this is only the second time I’ve heard of such a thing—frikkin incredible!

Ps—if you weren’t so good at responses I wouldn’t feel so got dang obliged to do what I just did!

We're twins spaced years apart. 🙈

Great that you can make it or the doc so quickly. That's if you can make it out of Heathrow that quickly.

Thanks for sharing this tribute to the fallen soldiers in Italy @dandays … I'm so happy to see that their sacrifice is being honored by a well maintained resting place.

My pleasure, @angryman. We didn’t expect to find that memorial, I’m glad we did. It’s very well kept and I couldn’t think of a better title.

There’s another memorial just down the road in Anzio built in dedication to fallen European and British soldiers, it’s nice to see they actually recognize they wouldn’t be where they are today without their allied help.

Most of the time I spent there was long after WW2, and predominately up north in the Alps... You and Pura would have loved to see those spectacular views I think, should you have had more time.

Gorgeous. We actually flew over them yesterday, that’s the closest we’ve been. They were spectacular even from 30 thousand feet.

Yes...I agree, having seen those peaks from above as well.

Holy smokes sir dandays! I had no idea this was there or that we lost that many men there. Totally amazing, I'm so glad you guys found this memorial!

Oh thank you so much! I sure do appreciate the kind words and I’m glad we found it too. Pura will attest, I had zero intention of putting an article together that day, I didn’t even have my phone in my pocket—it was in the backpack and I didn’t take any pictures of anything. Then we stumbled across that memorial—I couldn’t help it.

I hope I did the fallen soldiers justice without seeming judgmental toward the obvious nature of World War II, I like to think ya’all understand I don’t believe it’s the people who are the issue, it’s the people with power who are the issue.

Thank you for reading this one, sir, I’m really glad you appreciated the way I put this one together. Happy Sunday from England, @janton. When we left the memorial, I actually used the wOrd “sobering” because I didn’t anticipate feeling the emotion I felt that day as we exited. It was really sobering. I asked Pura “if you could describe what we just saw in one wOrd, what would it be?” She said “somber.”

Perfect!! That’s exactly what it was man, a Somber Day.

Well said sir dandays, that had to be a very moving experience because I was moved just by the post, excellent job!

After the disrespect being shown back in the USA by university students for those who died for them to be free and their contempt for the Stars and Stripes, for the whole world to see, even though I am not an American, it really pleases me to see there are still decent people who appreciate the sacrifices and who love their flag.

This is a really nice comment, @arthur-grafo8–thank you!

Humans, myself included, are quick to judge. Speaking on my own behalf only, I wish I was just as quick to see the good in people as I am the bad. On that note, however, when I saw this memorial site, I wasn’t quick to judge anyone and just felt like sharing what we discovered having no intention of releasing a Steemit article. We actually saw a lot of cool things yesterday and I didn’t take any pictures at all until stumbling across this memorial.

I tried writing it without pointing fingers and rather just stating facts of actual events, I hope it came across that way. About the students back home, if they only knew the message they’re sending, they’re eating out of the hand of media fed negativity when they should just appreciate what they have with an understanding it isn’t the people who create problems, it’s the people in power. I’m probably just being a naturally judgy human by writing this, though, so I should probably stop now.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thank you kindly for the nice compliment.

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