Fanfare for the Common Soldier

Something for the weekend.  Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland.  Composed seventy years ago, it was Copland’s reaction to the US entering World War II.  Watching the video above, a salute to the soldiers of World War II,

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Let There Be Light

to care for him who shall have borne the battle Abraham Lincoln During World War II director John Huston produced three films for the US government.  Let There Be Light was shot for the Army Signal Corps.  It covers the

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September 9, 1942: Lookout Air Raid

One of the more daring air raids of World War II, on September 9, 1942 a Japanese float plane piloted by Warrant Office Nobou Fujita took off from the I-25 , a Japanese submarine, that was off Cape Blanco on

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The Yorktown, the American Worker and Three Days

We must have this ship back in three days! Commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz   On Labor Day we honor the American worker and the repair of the USS Yorktown tells us why.  Badly damaged at the

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September 2, 1945: Japan Surrenders

Japan surrendered on a Sunday 67 years ago in 1945.  The above is the only color video of the surrender ceremony.  One of my uncles, a Navy enlisted man, was present in Tokyo Bay when the surrender occurred.  Below is

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Guadalcanal: America Turns the Tide

Before Guadalcanal the enemy advanced at his pleasure. After Guadalcanal, he retreated at ours. Admiral William “Bull” Halsey Seventy years ago Marines of the First Division, The Old Breed, launched the first offensive of America in World War II, by

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A Priest Born on Flag Day

One of the most highly decorated chaplains of World War II, Father Elmer W. Heindl used to joke that his decorations were simply due to him being in the wrong place at the right time.  Born on June 14, 1910 in

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Father Wilson Miscamble Defends the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

  Getting the annual Saint Blogs August Bomb Follies off to an early start.  Father Wilson Miscamble, Professor of History at Notre Dame, and long a champion of the pro-life cause, defends the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the video

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Pope Blesses 4000 American GIs

  The things you can find on Youtube!  Pope Pius XII blesses 4000 American soldiers after the liberation of Rome in 1944.  Here is what the Pope said: It is a real joy for us to welcome you all here to

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The Corps and the Kiwis

Hattip to Don the Kiwi for reminding me of this anniversary.  Seventy years ago on June 12, 1942 the Marines landed in New Zealand.  They were the vanguard of some 20,000 Marines who would train in New Zealand before going

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Nimitz Reports on the Battle of Midway

My wife has the distinction of being one of the few people born on the Island of Midway.  (We have pictures of her as an infant with some Laysan Albatrosses, better known on Midway as Gooney Birds.  The medical staff was so

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Ronald Reagan Speech: 40th Anniversary of D-Day

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From Shangri-La to Tokyo

  Seventy years ago 80 very brave Americans, led by Army Air Corps Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, brought the nation a badly needed morale boost.  The War in the Pacific was going badly as defeat followed defeat.  Navy Captain Francis Low hit upon

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Ronald Reagan: For God and Country

The things that you find on YouTube.  Ronald Reagan in a training film for Army chaplains, For God and Country (1943).  Much higher production values than the average training film, and I found it moving.   Reagan was assigned to the

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The Facebook History of World War 2

Lest we get bogged down in the dark humor of what lousy candidates we have running for the nomination, here’s a little bit of non-election related dark humor for your Friday: The Facebook History of World War II: View the

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General George S. Patton: Art and Life

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Red Tail Angels

The video above was produced by the United States Army Air Corps in 1945 and narrated by Captain Ronald Reagan.  The film is a salute to the Tuskegee Airmen. Blacks have served in all of America’s wars, in spite of

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Christmas 1944: Battle of the Bulge

In 1944 at Christmas the American and German armies were fighting it out in the Battle of the Bulge, the last German offensive of the War. Patton’s Third Army fought its way through to relieve the Americans desperately fighting to

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To Awaken A Sleeping Giant

  At the end of the epic movie Tora, Tora, Tora, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the head of the combined Japanese fleet, after the successful attack on Pearl Harbor, refuses to join in the elation of his staff, and makes this haunting

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70 Years Ago: A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and

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Edgar Rice Burroughs and Pearl Harbor

A trailer from the John Carter Warlord of Mars movie due out in March of next year, a tribute to the continuing popularity of the literary creations of Edgar Rice Burroughs, who died 61 years ago. Tomorrow is the 70th

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Audie Murphy: American Hero

“I never liked being called the ‘most decorated’ soldier. There were so many guys who should have gotten medals and never did– guys who were killed.” Audie Murphy In the Fifties actor Audie Murphy achieved stardom, mainly in Westerns.  Murphy

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There’ll Always Be An England and a Newfoundland

Something for the weekend.  There’ll Always Be An England.  This was always a favorite of my sainted mother.  It was played frequently during World War II in Newfoundland when she was a child. Newfoundland sent off a very high percentage of its military

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September 2, 1945: Japan Surrenders

A fascinating newsreel of the surrender ceremony aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.  Note that MacArthur hands pens after he signs to General Wainwright and General Percival.  Both men had been prisoners of Japan for most of the War,

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Give Us This Day

William Thomas Cummings, pictured viewer’s left in the above photograph, is known for the phrase, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  This is the story of the priest behind the phrase. Born in 1903 he studied at Saint Patrick’s Seminary in

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We Shall Never Surrender

“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost

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Reagan’s Normandy Speech

The first law firm I worked for in 1982 after I graduated from law school had three attorneys.  The senior partner had a son who fell at Omaha Beach.  Another partner was an officer in the Eighth Air Force helping to

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So many books! So little time!

So many books! So little time! And, unfortunately, not enough to afford them all. Erasmus’ motto, “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes” worked during college, but is

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The Archbishop and the Concentration Camp

Retired Archbishop Philip. M. Hannan of New Orleans, still alive at the age of 97, discusses his service in the video above, made in 2007, with the 505th parachute infantry regiment of the 82nd Airborne in World War II.  Ordained at the North

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Victory Over Japan

Today marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of the ending of the attempt of Japan to conquer East Asia and form a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.  In that attempt, Japanese forces murdered some three to ten million civilians.  This figure does not

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War Crimes

As the New York Times remembers Hiroshima, Richard Fernandez asks us to name the two greatest losses of civilian life in the Pacific war. (“Hint. In both cases the civilian casualties were greater than Hiroshima’s. In one case the event

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Under the Roman Sky

A new film, Under the Roman Sky, starring James Cromwell as Pius XII, details the heroic efforts of Pius XII to save the Jews of Rome from the Nazis, after Rome came under Nazi occupation subsequent to the fall of Mussolini following

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Their Finest Hour

Yesterday, June 18, marked the 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech to Parliament,  as he alerted Great Britain to the coming Battle of Britain.  Churchill did not sugar coat the situation for his listeners.  Britain faced a formidable

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