My own learning experience that same week was even more ironic and thought provoking. I was sitting in a seminar on the Holocaust at the University of San Francisco, completely mesmerized by the personal testimony of William Lowenberg, a Holocaust survivor now recently deceased. As he closed his incredible presentation, reminding us of how important it is to investigate and teach about the past, the Blue Angels flew over Lone Mountain, interrupting with their own thunderous narrative. I wondered what associations such sounds from the sky had in Lowenberg’s mind. I could not fathom the gravity.Of that, I have absolutely no doubt. Because, while there were no FA-18s flying overhead the concentration camps in World War II, there were P-51s and P-47s, flown by the forefathers of those men whose noise and valor you despise, Mr.Hill. To Mr Lowenberg, the sound of their heirs overhead very likely associated in his mind with life and liberty.
Mr. Hill, you might look up that quote about 'rough men ready to do violence': it's why clowns like you have the freedom and leisure to bitch about Tommy.
As to Mr. Lowenberg... I can't remember where to find the piece, but years back read about a old Jewish couple who somehow survived in a camp, and after it was liberated they discovered that one of the troops was a Jew. They were alive, and one of their people helped throw the bastards out. The writer spoke of how they marveled at 'how big and strong you are!', and then the man stroked the M1 he held and said "And what a fine rifle you have!"
Somehow, I doubt Mr. Lowenberg considers American airmen to be a threat. Except to the enemy.
Update: Mr. Volk provided the link I'd forgotten, here's the passage:
I chose it because of a short story by Irwin Shaw that I read a couple of years earlier and which I have re-read frequently since. It was called "Act of Faith". Although I disagreed with the ending of it, a particular page struck in my mind and made me spend money on a clumsy, over-muscled artifact from the more primitive times.
It just so happend that most of my grandmother's family was wiped out by Germans in 1941. They did not get to see the liberators nor could they fend for themselves for they lived in the Soviet- and later Nazi-occupied Belorus...and neither of the masters would permit them weapons for self-protection.
My Garand has a lot of dings on the stock, despite having been refinished more than once from the looks of things; all I did was get out the old grease & oil and give it several coats of a protective finish. The barrel isn't the original; not surprising as the serial number shows it was made in early January 1941. A couple of years ago I dated a lady who wasn't exactly thrilled with my liking/owning firearms and asked me why; I showed her the Garand, told what I knew of this history and ended with "This is an actual physical piece of American history. I get to use it and care for it for a time, then it'll go to the kids. This is among the reasons I own them."
One more story: a few years back a local shop got in some Mauser rifles that looked like standard K98 models. Closer inspection showed all the German proofs had been defaced(on some of the rifles chopped to complete illegibility), and on the receiver ring was stamped a six-pointed star. These were some of the rifles smuggled to what what would become Israel. I told the lady that it greatly pleased me to think of Hitler & Co. gnashing their teeth in hell at the knowledge that Nazi-produced arms had been used to help create and defend the nation of Israel.