The Good War?

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Ken Burns’ “The War” documentary has begun airing on PBS. After watching an interview with him this morning, I wanted to learn more about the documentary. I’m a big history buff anyway, but when I searched out some info on this film, I was blown away.

Burns makes an interesting point. Every war since WWII has had major conflict. Korea was a “police action”, as was Vietnam. There was plenty of well-founded dissention amongst the public over both these wars. Then, we are all too aware of how much conflict there is over the war in Iraq. But WWII? We were all on the same team. There weren’t liberals and conservatives who were polarized like they are today. There weren’t red and blue states-just Americans. As awful as World War II was, there is something solid, comforting and patriotic about an experience Americans lived together, all working towards the same purpose. Now? It’s just sad.

Secondly, due to all the conflicts over the Korean War until today’s battles in the sandbox, World War II is still looked at as “the good war.” When we all knew what we were fighting for, when we all wanted the same end, when people were more interested in the preservation of America than which political leaders they aligned with. The good war….

and yet? Here’s the shocker for me…in reading the review of the documentary, Burns tells that the second World War left nearly 60 million people dead. 60 million! Can we even imagine a number that large? 60 million. God. I just can’t get over that number. 60 million…just that number makes me want to learn more. This event that literally rocked the world in a way it’d never been changed.

I hate that some people forget just how big tragedies are. We’re all just too accustomed to tragedy. Flip on the news any night of the week and you’ll see several. But something as big as WWII simply cannot EVER be forgotten. I want to do my part in helping keep the memory of this horror alive…and so I’ll educate myself a little more by watching this. I hope you’ll consider it, too.

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