Revisionist History


I wish I could give credit to the author of this LTE, but it was signed Anonymous.

A couple of weeks ago I visited the new World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. I got an unexpected history lesson. Because I’m a baby boomer, I was one of the youngest in the crowd. Many were the age in their 70′s and 80′s. Veterans of ‘the greatest war,’ with their families. It was a beautiful day, and people were smiling and happy to be there. Hundreds of us milled around the memorial, reading the inspiring words of Eisenhower and Truman that are engraved there.

On the Pacific side of the memorial, a group of us gathered to read the words President Roosevelt used to announce the  attack on Pearl  Harbor:
‘Yesterday, December  7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked.’
One elderly woman read the words aloud:
‘With confidence in our armed forces, with the abounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph.’

But as she read, she was suddenly turned angry. ‘Wait a minute,’ she said, ‘they left out the end of the quote. They left out the most important part. Roosevelt ended the message with ‘so help us God.’ I haven’t gotten too far in the book. It’s tough to read because it’s a graphic description of the WWII battles in the Pacific.  

Her husband said, ‘You are probably right. We’re not supposed to say things like that now.’
‘I know I’m right,’ she insisted. ‘I remember the speech.’ The two looked dismayed, shook their heads sadly and walked away.
Listening to their conversation, I thought to myself, ‘Well, it has been over 50 years; she’s probably forgotten.’
But she had not forgotten. She was right..
I went home and pulled out the book my book club is reading — ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ by James Bradley.  It’s all about the battle at Iwo Jima.
But right there it was on page 58.  Roosevelt’s speech to the nation ends in ‘so help us  God.’
The people who edited out that part of the speech when they engraved it on the memorial could have fooled me. I was born after the war!
But they couldn’t fool the people who were there. Roosevelt’s words are engraved on their hearts.
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7 Responses to “Revisionist History”

  1. MadPole says:

    The same guys that put out that half-hearted birth certificate. I could have done better with an etch-a-sketch!

  2. USMC-1969 says:

    Yep, The Kodak, Epson, Brother, and HP Printers do wonders these days. Hell, I even have an old Notary stamp embosser.

  3. Garthvader says:

    Not long ago my two sons graduated high school. I looked at the books they were provided and most of the time they were lacking to say the least. Poorly written, omission and/or “revision” of historical events, twisted facts and a liberal political spin on every page. The attack on America began in earnest long ago. As I went to College later in life (graduated with BA at age 33 and MS at age 49) I spent much of the class discussion period dueling with my esteemed professors regarding absent facts and political spin that supported their own agendas. For people who were alleged to be brilliant, they surely were stupid.

  4. USMC-1969 says:

    GV -- Yep, surprised that I passed Sociology. I did threten to take it again if I didn’t pass. As to American History, it helped wearing Jungle boots a couple of times while still sporting a high and tight. I gave them a pass on World History. I’d bet that was pretty fractured as well.

    I highly recommend the Politically Incorrect series of books on all things American History.

  5. Gabriel says:

    USMC…I have been there and apparently missed it. Twas truly an awesome experience to see and watch the visiting folks from across America,

  6. Gabriel says:

    Garth…The Army paid my way at American University in DC while I was assigned to the area. Believe it or not, I managed to receive an MA in Public Relations. Like you, I spent a good deal of time challenging these myopic pointy heads on their “hate America” mindset.

  7. Gabriel says:

    Mad…Big time shame, huh? Some folks want to keep adding monuments to the National Mall. I would hope that is a no go. do not want to denigrate it.

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