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Moment of Reflection

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  • #16
    A little background - The German Army is at gates of all military

    installations in Germany providing entry control on a 24 X 7 basis to

    relieve US Forces that are in the Middle East.

    A different perspective on our German allies. Our governments may be

    At odds over Iraq Policy-but Military understands Military.

    Our Allies!

    Sunday, 30 March 2003

    As usual I was running late. So, you can imagine my frustration level

    As I approached the main gate of Ramstein Air Base only to find traffic

    Backed up! Nearing the checkpoint I realized that not only was there a long

    Line of cars, but traffic had come to a complete stop as a result of all

    Entrance gates being closed. Over the past 18 months, there have been many

    opportunities to practice our patience as we have had to "hurry up and

    wait" as a result of heightened security. While we realize the

    necessity, it's still frustrating at times for even the most easy-going
    folks. This was one of those times for me! I needed to be where I was
    going, and I needed to be there NOW! The German soldiers, the ones manning
    the entrances of American military installations here in Germany, were just
    milling around, chatting as if those of us in line had all the time in the

    Things seemed to go from bad to worse! The German gate guards began

    walking among the stopped cars, asking us to turn off our engines and

    headlights. I realized that no traffic was exiting or entering the Air

    Base. My feelings of frustration began to turn to ones of concern.

    Just what was going on? A few minutes later I noticed blue lights

    Approaching from the direction of the air terminal. Close behind were two
    military medical buses with RED CROSS insignia. Lights were on in the
    buses, and I.V. bags could be seen hanging. It was then that I realized
    that these were more of our wounded warriors being transported from the

    Battlefields to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for treatment.

    I certainly wasn't prepared for what happened next. All of the German

    soldiers, our gate guards, began walking toward the concrete barriers

    that divide the inbound and outbound lanes of traffic. As the blue lights

    neared, more German soldiers seemed to appear from nowhere, lining the

    road, shoulder to shoulder. Right on cue, without a word being spoken,
    these soldiers snapped a sharp salute as the buses drove past, rendering
    arms until well after the last bus had passed.

    Needless to say, I was speechless and deeply moved. What a show of

    respect for fellow soldiers!

    --- Soldier to Soldier, rendering honor and respect!

    One more little note to this...Two AM in the morning, a single C-17

    lands at Ramstein with one patient on board; 19 year Pfc. Jessica Lynch, and

    who shows up to escort the ambulance to Landstuhl?...over 100 German Politzi

    cars and the entire Germany Army contingency assigned to Ramstein..

    Our allies, our comrades, those who know the price that some have to

    pay for freedom, did not have to be asked or prompted, it came from their

    character and soldiering heart! May God bless and watch over all soldiers

    and their loved ones as they stand in harm's way for us! Blessings and



    • #17


      • #18
        As I said before good people, you can't alter that just like the Americans are good people these things cannot be taken away from a nation, any nation, because of a few bad men and I am not referring to the present comflict. Alistair
        Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


        • #19
          "Stuff the French and the Germans"
          It reminds me of the succinct response of Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe's response to the Germans in the battle of Bastogne, "Nuts". Basically I understand and support the sentiments. Individually I don't resent any individual German or French citizen but I think the French government and perhaps the general French public is now effete. As far as the French being essential in our revolutionary war and for our American freedoms, I respect that historical fact. But there are no living French citizens that can claim to have been a part of that heroic effort. There may be some French citizens alive that can remember some of our American Son's, who liberated them from the Fascists in WWII. Now those Son's are our Grandfathers, and they remember the losses of their comrades and brothers and also the glory of that liberation. There are times in history where there are no peaceful means available to remove a cruel and murderous regime that is also in a position to cause death on a massive scale. I am a Democrat and yet I still support the war in Iraq. As far as the Germans go, I still don't trust them. I'll be glad when all of the Germans that were a part of the holocaust are dead. If they are our Allies then we need some more Allies. And I am not a Jew. I don’t even think my government should support Israel. I am an atheist and I distain all conflicts over religion because it is useless. Religious governments don’t tolerate this diversity of opinion. That is why I hope my government doesn’t leave Iraq too soon. It makes me appreciate our system in America that protects the rights of the minority. How can all those countries and people hate America when we are just an amalgam of them all? We don’t care how you pray, or if you don’t, and certainly we don’t kill people who don’t believe as we do. I wish this were true of the rest of the world.


          • #20
            Spence you have a very skewed view of history there is no government on this planet that is without blame at some time in history not the American government, not the British, which in case, you have let it slip your over active imagination were also prominent in the liberation of France not just Americans.
            The way you write it America won the war alone no mention of the Brits and the Russians who took the most casualties ,you remind me of spike milligan from the goons.
            You are very quick to take us back in history to a time when the German government did things which we all recognise including the Germans alive today, and say that you still don't trust the Germans from an incident which took place nearly sixty years ago, how many do you realistically expect to be still alive. And remember the Germans were not all fascists.Then I find it almost comical when you add.
            It makes me appreciate our system in America that protects the rights of the minority. Have you never heard of the apartite system in your own country when Black men and women and even children were treated with utter dsidain by your parents and their neighbours oh yes if you are going to sling mud liberally at the present day Germans why not come forward right up to the sixties when the black people were treated like animals by your own people so take off those rose coloured spectacles and come into the real world you are only making a fool of yourself when you make statements about the good America which are blatantly misrepresentative, grow up son, or please keep off these subjects till you have learned the facts or at least learned to be more honest with your views.Sorry but your statements are just plain foolish and fly in the face of your own countries historical wrong doings or perhaps in your world these things never happened ,good grief.
            "It makes me appreciate our system in America that protects the rights of the minority." I thought that Blacks were in the minority then and now.We too in Britain have a long record of mistreating those we disliked ,our history is steeped in blood so don't point a finger at others we are all to be blamed for the past.I really don't think I will be able to hold a decent debate with you in the future,as you are very prejudiced and constantly ill informed.In any case I thought Neil had asked us repeatedly to stop the anti-German and anti-French pro-war/anti-war stuff. Alistair
            Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


            • #21
              Your points are well taken. No system is perfect and there is plenty of blame to throw around. I have an understanding, and an appreciation of the inequities here in America. Certainly my current president is not a person who got where he is without the help of an elite class. He isn't interested in leveling the playing field either. I just love the fact that we can have a bloodless coup here every 4 years. You are right on another point. It isn’t about the people or their nationalities, but it is about the positions of their leadership in current affairs. It is hard to view these in an unbiased way. And in a way that isn’t affected by an understanding of history, as it is colored by our individual cultures and collective history. There are, and where, all sorts of ulterior motives on all sides. There never will be a simple answer, and even when a regime treats people with the extremes of cruelty they often feel they are doing the right thing and are justified by whatever excuses and authority they have.
              PS. No debate would be possible, but it is not because I am prejudiced or ill informed as you said, but because I won't participate in attacking the writer instead of the ideas. The following I read as against the writer (me) and not the ideas.
              "You have a very skewed view"
              "Your over active imagination"
              "You remind me of Spike Milligan"
              "You are..comical when you"
              "You are very quick to.."
              "Take off the rose colored glasses"
              "You are making a fool of yourself"
              "Your statements are just plain foolish"
              "You are..ill informed."
              "You are very prejudiced"

              I think I left out a few, but I would rather you didn't poke so much at me, but to the ideas. I may end up agreeing with you otherwise. Now back to my projects.

              [This message has been edited by SJorgensen (edited 04-22-2003).]


              • #22

                A wise man once said "Kill them all - let God sort them out."

                Or, "Let he who is without a**holes in government cast the first stone" - A show of hands please...Oh look, there is a Peguin from Antarctica picking up a rock!


                • #23
                  What Ideas ? Spence Alistair
                  Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                  • #24
                    Thanks Machine-Rookie. That also is a moving story.

                    (A fellow Blue Suiter)
                    Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                    • #25
                      Some of the things you've written about your image of America and the experience of Black Americans in the 60's paint quite a picture. Of course things vary from state to state and I happen to live in a part of the Country where racism wasn't that endemic in the culture, as it was in the Southern States. I've never witnessed any thing like you describe. By law minority rights are protected even from the majority. There have been times when our Federal Government has sent troops to defend the rights of a few people against a racist community in the south. I may be the one who is ill informed, but I've always lived in an integrated society. None of my friends or any of the Blacks I've ever worked with would let anyone tell them they couldn't go somewhere or do something because they are black. Seems like all of our American heroes are Black men. Tiger Woods, Colin Powell, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird (oh wait...he's white!) Apartheid my ass. There is quite a history of racism in America though, and a lot of blood has been shed and laws written to end it.

                      You said "The way you write it America won the war alone no mention of the Brits and the Russians who took the most casualties"

                      Sorry I forgot to mention that. But maybe you would have lost the war without us. Winning a war is not about taking the most casualties.

                      If you ask me, that war was won because of hundreds of thousands of little South Bend 9" lathes like my little War Horse.

                      Best wishes,