Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Penny Arcade Artist's WWII Veteran Grandfather Speaks

"Gabe" / Mike had his aunt conduct an interview with his grandfather, a World War II navy veteran. Please read it.

At the end I noticed three important things:

  1. Everything he had from the war was lost. He came home with the clothes on his back - his medals, his souvenirs, his diary were all lost. This creates a larger disconnect when you have nothing to hold on to; it's all in the mind, and coming home to the United States was different than Great Britain.
  2. Once home, he married, returned to his job and stayed there his whole career.
  3. He doesn't like WWII "First-Person Shooters" because the only interactivity is killing each other with guns (phrased differently but this is the core).
This made me think of the cyclical nature of the human experience. Prior to The Great World War (One), war was romanticized. Many Europeans wanted to fight. They were in for a rude awakening thanks to modern warfare and outmoded military generals and their tactics.

Here too, we see a new generation, unfamiliar with real war, experiencing it as they can. Instead of books, we now have First-Person Shooters.

I, for one, applaud that the (statistically) ignorant masses, victims of the American Public Education System, are seeing something, learning about the weapons, the uniforms and a bit about the places and battles, however imperfect (the proliferation of sub-machine guns in these games is completely unrealistic).

I embrace the fact that we have yet another generation unfamiliar with war, because that is normal. They will go and face (the 2nd Gulf War) and come home different, like Ralph did, amidst a public who still has no freaking clue what it's all about, what they went through, and what life really means.

Most people, unless their eyes are opened in this manner, are just destined to never understand.

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