As I write this on Memorial Day, I realize how few of us are left who remember the day of December 7, 1941, served in the citizens’ military during World War II, and then made a life through our own personal efforts.
It was especially poignant to see the Iwo Jima flag-raising statue and to realize how much the public mores of today have shifted from that time.
The recent congressional debate over CIA water-boarding suggests that that statue should be removed along with those Confederate generals who offend today’s sensibilities. By today’s apparent standards, the statue and the victory it celebrates are morally offensive.
In 1947, I had a former Marine sergeant, who had fought on Iwo Jima, as a college roommate. One evening he told me that after seeing what the enemy had done to his best friend, he became the best prisoner interrogator in his regiment, and that he never found a man who could stand more than eight fingernail extractions. As Sherman said, war is hell.
Donald G. Kennedy
Hilton Head Island
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