bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Something a little different. To give you the lowdown on The Steel Helmet, Ben Mankiewicz and TCM introduces the movie. A gritty movie with startling starkness, as the film was released only six months after the start of the war.

As the film opens, veteran Sergeant Zack is seen crawling away as the only survivor of his squad (executed by the North Koreans). The hole in his helmet is proof of his luck, though this World War II vet is suffering from PTSD (known then as battle fatigue). Trying to get back to his lines, Zack meets up with a Korean boy he dubs Short Round (the inspiration for the boy of the same name in Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom) and a patrol also trying to get back to American territory.

The film includes scenes of an unarmed North Korean prisoner being shot (which infuriated the U.S. military), and frank discussion of race relations back home (black and Japanese). While the modern civil rights movement wouldn't get its catalyst until Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on that Montgomery bus for another four years, the Army was struggling with integration as ordered by President Harry Truman. Neither scene is the focus of the film, but they are startling considering that the war was currently raging and race relations were just not addressed very often by Hollywood.

The Korean War produced its share of flag-waving films, but more often the movies were grim, gritty depictions of war. World War II films were often intended as recruitment films. It was only after the war that war's futility and waste were addressed. Gene Evans is stellar as Sergeant Zack.

This film is considered one of the best war films of all time.

bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Good morning!

Today is the 67th anniversary of the start of the Korean War ("Isn't this where we came in?" "It's even Sunday morning!"). And it was a Sunday that it began, as the film's dialogue attests. .

One Minute To Zero stars Robert Mitchum and Ann Blyth in a film released in 1952, with a year to go in the Korean War. A mix of flag-waving and gritty realism, the movie is most noteworthy for actual combat scenes and a controversial scene involving Korean refugees. Howard Hughes, the owner of the studio (RKO), refused to delete the scene when requested by the U.S. Army.

bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
When I hosted Korean War Day over on Vintage_Ads, I embedded two movies in my journal over on LJ but embeds don't duplicate well, so here they area:

bradygirl_12: (steve--diana (kiss))
This 1954 movie encapsulates the Korean War: William Holden's fighter pilot character is unhappy about being called up for Korea after serving in World War II. He'd been making headway in his civilian life like a lot of returned G.I.s and now was yanked back to fight in a war that wasn't exactly popular. What if his good luck was all used up in the last war? The prime real-life example was the Boston Red Sox' Ted Williams, who was called up for Korea after three years' service in World War II. Five prime years of his baseball career was lost to war.

Excellent jet fighter sequences and color photography with top-notch acting by Holden, Grace Kelly and Mickey Rooney.

bradygirl_12: (steve--bucky (world war ii sepia))
I'm guest-hosting over on [ profile] vintage_ads for the one day event, the Korean War. There are some good ads over there if you want to take a look. :)

Today is the 66th anniversary of the start of the war on June 25, 1950.

Veterans of the Korean War in general and of this battle in particular said this movie was very accurate in its depiction of fighting in Korea. My father said that to me when we watched this film years ago. He served in Company B, 32nd Infantry.

bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Recently I've been researching my father's Korean War experiences as part of a project to get a grave marker for him, and even though he did tell us some hair-raising stories before he died (when my sister and I were adults), I'm finding out more things that make me sad but very proud of my father's service. He was 17 when he joined the U.S. Army in February of 1952 and was shipped over to Korea in early 1953. He took part in battles such as Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill (the 1959 movie of the same name starring Gregory Peck is exemplary), and he was a Purple Heart survivor. He was able to watch M*A*S*H* and point out what was realistic and what wasn't, having spent time in a unit as a patient. He became the youngest First Sergeant in the Korean theater of operations and later volunteered for jump school to become a paratrooper.

My father was of that World War II/Korean War generation who came back from the war, returned to civilian life and started a family while quietly dealing with his PTSD (known then as battle fatigue). I understand him better now after my research and wish that he could have been spared the nightmares and survivor's guilt, but that's the world we live in, unfortunately.

The Korean War is often referred to as The Forgotten War, which angers me no end. A war and its veterans should NEVER be forgotten and shunted aside. The war began on June 25, 1950, five years after the end of World War II, and a lot of the veterans called back up were resentful of having to run the gauntlet again after surviving World War II. Stories like the case of Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox were examples, as once again a considerable chunk of his baseball prime years were lost to service (he was a jet ace during the Korean War and was John Glenn's wingman). Others had begun to build lives after the last war and were interrupted once again for a dirty little war that sorely tried skills, patience and faith. Talking with some of the people helping me with the grave marker, I discovered that military people considered Korea an unusually grim and horrific war, even as wars go.

During this weekend of vacation and barbecues and fun, please take a moment to reflect and thank those who came before us to fight our country's wars and who paid a great price for it.

Thank you.
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Today is the 74th anniversary of December 7, 1941, the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I noticed that AMC had World War II movies on all day.

World War II is becoming very much like World War I and the Civil War: black-and-white photographs of a time long ago, with fewer and fewer people around to possess actual memories of the events. Fortunately, despite the usual historical amnesia of my fellow Americans, some people do remember important events like this one.

It's not that hard to understand the shock of the people alive on that date of infamy. If you were around on November 22, 1963, you understand. If you were around on September 11, 2001, you understand.

Many Americans in 1941 knew in the backs of their minds that war was coming. Some pretended it would never come. Others wanted it because they felt that if the Nazis won in Europe and knocked off Great Britain, we were next. Most of the attention was on Europe, so the attack on Pearl Harbor was probably even more of a shock. Many Americans didn't even know where Pearl Harbor was. It was a U.S. Navy base, with the Army stationed at nearby Hickam Field, and unless you were in the military or knew someone who was and had been stationed there, why would you know about it? But on December 7, 1941, all of America found out.

The great Japanese Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto opposed war with the United States. He had studied at Harvard in 1919-1921 and served as a naval attache in Washington for two postings, traveling the country and learning about Americans. He had seen the industrial capacity of the United States at first-hand and knew that a long war with the U.S would be a disaster.

He did plan the attack on Pearl Harbor as ordered, but upon learning that the diplomatic notification to the Americans had been delivered late, casting the attack in the light of a "sneak attack", he was famously quoted as saying, "I fear all we have done today is to awaken a great, sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." He predicted that he could "run wild" for six months to a year, but could offer no guarantees for the years after that. He was extremely prophetic.

The loss of life and ships was a psychic blow. The particular horror of what happened to the U.S.S. Arizona is commemorated today with the famous memorial in the harbor. Fortunately, the aircraft carriers were not in port that day, and would prove invaluable in battles like the Coral Sea and Midway.

It was a long time ago, but the events of 1941 and the subsequent years formed history (the Cold War and our current era) and led to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It's good to remember the sacrifices.
bradygirl_12: (steve--bucky (icy blue))
Please remember our veterans today.

Remember them from past and present wars.

Remember their sacrifices, and those of their loved ones.

Remember the wounded soldiers who have been in hospitals for decades or just arrived yesterday.

Remember the civilians in the war zones.

Please especially remember the Korean War, the 'Forgotten War', the war in which my father fought and suffered from his entire life, and all the other veterans of that war, too.

Thank you.
bradygirl_12: (steve--bucky (world war ii sepia))
Today is the 64th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, the 'Forgotten War', except for those who suffered and died and their loved ones. Please remember.
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Please remember all our veterans today.

And, as I always ask, remember the veterans of the 'Forgotten War', Korea.

Thank you.


Jun. 30th, 2013 11:51 am
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
Tomorrow is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. It was the turning point for the war as Robert E. Lee gambled and lost, sounding the death knell for the Confederacy though the war itself wouldn't end until April of 1865.

I've stood on Little Round Top where Joshua Chamberlain and his Maine soldiers defended and held a key point against the Rebels against incredible odds. The site echoes the ghosts of the battle, and it was a hot day in July and they were wearing those wool uniforms (or if they were wearing lighter material, I'm sure it still itched!). And don't let anyone tell you a place is just a place and means nothing. You can feel what happened there, even as the sun shines and the birds sing. Pickett's Charge was the last gasp and the South never truly recovered.

Gettysburg itself had many dead (men and horses) to bury in the withering heat of July. People wore handkerchiefs over their faces as they went about their grim business.

And, finally, in November of that year, President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous address at the cemetery.

It's a shame there isn't more acknowledgment of these events. There is a re-enactment going on in Gettysburg but people don't know or talk much about the seminal event in American history anymore: the Civil War itself. When the anniversaries were 100 years old, not 150, people cared. I remember reading an old Peanuts book from the early '60s and the kids went around in kepi hats and played Civil War soldiers as well as cowboys and Indians. Shows like The Twilight Zone featured several Civil War episodes. Lincoln, always popular in the American mind, was even more written and talked about during the Civil War Centennial.

Why should we care about a war long gone? Because it changed everything in this country and its effects are still being felt today.

In 1913, the survivors of Gettysburg got together for a reunion. Old men by then, the old silent films show them camping on the battlefield, Union and Confederate alike. Funny how wars like World War II and Korea are now getting as old and distant as the Civil War, trapped in their black-and-white images and the veterans are either old or dead.

Wars are terrible, but they are part of history and move events. It doesn't hurt to be more cognizant of history beyond last week.
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Today is the 63rd anniversary of the start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950. It was not a 'police action' but a damned war, and its aftereffects reverberate on the peninsula today with the separation of Korean families for generations.

There is always talk of World War II veterans and deservedly so, of their great accomplishments and how they're dying off in great numbers every day, but little talk of the Korean War veterans who suffered and died in a dirty little war and are dying off in great numbers every day. They never got the recognition they deserve. My father was one of them.

Please take a minute to remember the people who served in Korea. Thank you.
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Today is the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the U.S. into World War II. Please remember the World War II veterans and also veterans of other wars, particularly the Korean War. It breaks my heart that the veterans of that war are constantly overlooked and ignored. My father served on the front lines in Korea and it affected him all the rest of his life. Please just take the time today to acknowledge the sacrifices of all veterans.

It was definitely a psychic shock to Americans on December 7th. Despite Europe and Asia at war, the U.S. was still out of it except for helping the British when they could with Lend-Lease and American volunteers flying in the British Air Force or ferrying desperately-needed supplies to England, and later, Russia. Despite knowing they could be at war it was still a shock to wake up on a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii with bombs raining down on your head. The men of the U.S.S. Arizona never had a chance.

Thank you for your remembrance today.
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)

Sixty-two years ago today, the Korean War began.

Please take the time to remember the soldiers who fought and died

And the veterans who are elderly now and still suffering.

Please remember the Koreans who suffered during the war

And the families still torn apart after all these decades.

Don't forget the Forgotten War.


bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
On this date, 11/11/11, please remember the veterans of all wars. They really do make sacrifices for us all. Thank you.

Veterans living today:

World War I (not sure how many are left, but they certainly sacrificed)

World War II

The Korean War (NOT 'just' a conflict, but a full-fledged war)

The Vietnam War

The First Gulf War

Our current wars
bradygirl_12: (captain america sunburst)
Today is the 61st anniversary of the start of the Korean War. Please take a moment to remember the sacrifices of the soldiers sent to fight in that 'police action', many of whom are still suffering, and the Koreans who saw their country ravaged and lives lost, and still suffer separation of friends and family to this day. This is truly 'The Forgotten War'.

Thank you.
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))

Today is the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War.

My father was a combat veteran of that war, and like many others who served, was indelibly marked by it.

Thousands lost their lives and those who survived were changed forever in this 'police action'.

The Korean War is the Forgotten War.  How many times have you heard someone mention World War II and then skip right to Vietnam?  There was a war in between that one, which took over 58,000 American lives and left the Korean peninsula with untold destruction, losses, and families divided for the last 60 years.  They are still technically in a state of war.  American troops have been stationed there on the DMZ ever since.

Just take the time to remember for a moment.  Thank you.
bradygirl_12: (jfk (flag))
I have been observing RL anniversaries on my LJ lately, and wanted to observe this one: today is the anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. Fifty-eight years ago, the North Koreans attached the South, and the U.N. responded for the first time in a war situation by sending troops, the majority of which were American but many other nations took part as well.

This is truly a Forgotten War: how many times have you heard people talk about World War II, then skip to Vietnam? Korea was the first 'police action' (all veterans say it with a twist of the mouth) of the Cold War era, and horrific numbers of casualties and deaths piled up in three years that nearly matched the totals of the longer Asian land war to come.

My father was on the front lines in that war, and he suffered nightmares the rest of his life about it. He personally witnessed an atrocity against a dear friend and it haunted him, and there were many other things he never fully spoke about. He reached the status of youngest First Sergeant in Korea eventually, was proud of his service, but was always wary of those who were so eager to rush into war while staying behind themselves.

So, please, take a moment or two today to remember that war, the sacrifices made, and the veterans either ignored and/or still suffering from that war so many years ago.

Thank you!
bradygirl_12: (trees and flowers 1)
Well, it was quite a night last night. The Celtics lost ;) but more importantly, I still have a house! *cue Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch of the West music* We had a microburst tornado cleave through town, and it split some branches of the old maple tree down in back. Both are half-blocking the road, so we're on the list for emergency clean-up. Another tree branch landed on wires. No fences, houses, or cars (or people!) were damaged, so all is good. Ironically, the other maple tree that had been damaged in the Hurricane of '85 is in great shape, steel rod and all!

Kinda scary, as June 10th is a just a day after the 55th anniversary of the June 9, 1953 tornado that tore through Massachusetts and was ranked as one of the worst ever. My dad was serving in the Korean War at the time and was frantic for news from home, with life playing the irony card as his parents and girlfriend (my mom) had been in more danger than he was (temporarily, as Dad served on the front lines of that nasty little war) in Korea!

My mom remembered the weird greenish sky on an extremely hot day (our weather yesterday was horrendous as to heat) and the air raid sirens going off as the tornado approached. My dad had some memories of the Hurricane of '38 (she was far too young to remember), with a neighbor's roof ending up across the street, and this tornado really ripped through the county. Ninety-four people died that day, and the National Guard had to come in to help. Her father's car had been crushed in '38 (luckily without him in it!) but the family car survived this occurrence.

Two years later (1955) the area would be hit with a devastating flood. Interesting times!

So all in all, glad to not be in Oz right now! ;)
bradygirl_12: (new frontier (cover))
PBS' Nova is showing "Missing In MIG Alley" right now, a documentary about missing American and British pilots from the Korean War. Not only historically interesting, but good background for people writing Cold War fic or get a better understanding of the era.

I have a special interest in anything Korean War because my dad fought in it. It was a war that could have seen the use of nuclear weapons, was World War I-like in the brutal trench warfare after the first year, and many parallels to Vietnam.

The air war was especially dramatic with the introduction of the jet.

It's good background for DC's The New Frontier, too.

The politicians were so afraid of starting World War III that there were a lot of sacrifices made, like these missing pilots being possibly taken by Soviets and not a word about it made public. :(


bradygirl_12: (Default)

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