"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day - The Huertgen Forest

The battle of the Huertgen Forest in Germany in October-December 1944 has a particular interest for me.   It is one of the forgotten battles of World War II on the American side.   In the European conflict, we remember D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, but not that much in between.   Some of this is because our most crystalline memories as a culture are those we get second-hand through the movies -- we know about D-Day because of The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan; we know about the Bulge because of movies like Battleground and the great TV show Band of Brothers.   The long, slow, somewhat useless slog through the Huertgen has never been lionized in that way.  

So today, let's recall the men who fought in the Huertgen... and all the other forgotten battles that helped America's Greatest Generation win America's Greatest War.

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