For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"On A Summer Day In 1944...The Soldiers Came..." 65 Years Ago Today

In the weeks leading up to Memorial Day I watched the entire World At War series, which has held up quite well since 1974, IMHO, and saw in both the first and last installments the reference to the death of Oradour-sur-Glane. It was a small village in France over 1,000 years old, but it only took the SS troops who passed through it few of hours to round up the population of 600+ and execute them. The town has been preserved uninhabited since that fateful day, June 10th 1944, ...65 years ago today.

I have included the first nine and one half minutes of the first hour installment of World At War, but you only need watch until the title sequence. Then below is a video of Oradour-sur-Glane today put together by someone who visited the site and was so moved. I just couldn't post one without the other. You will be glad you made the time to watch the one below in its entirety. It's that good.

But what can one say after seeing this? Never fight a war again under any circumstances? Or perhaps, this is why pre-emptive war is so necessary? War will always be with us, unfortunately, until ALL of mankind figures out the true cost of such undertakings. You cannot simply have one side who gets it and the other doesn't. That's what we have today, and had at the start of WW2. And it resulted in appeasement on one side and emboldened bullying on the other. Welcome to today. I display this to remind ourselves that the price of freedom isn't free but quite heavy. And not just for soldiers, but for civilians, too. And the earlier you deal with a situation, like stopping Hitler at Czechoslovakia or earlier (which we should have done), the fewer Oradour-sur-Glanes we will have. And there were many back then...