Monday, January 22, 2018

Looking Back, Looking Now, Looking Forward

Grandma Marie and Grandpa Lewis Cardiff

Every now and then, old blog posts need to get visited, at least I believe they do.  I just to want to see if there were any additional comments, mostly. But it is also important me to compare my writing back then to my writing now.

Today I visited my last post at my WIP, /susankanewriter.blogspot.com, "Facing Down Demons".  My Grandpa Lewis Cardiff fought in World War 1 and came home with memories of horrors he could not erase from his mind.  His stories were ones I heard in the last year of his life when he was talking with my oldest brother, Don.  I was in eighth grade, Don was a senior in high school. 

Those stories of what he saw planted themselves in my own mind, and I hung onto them.  Don?  What? What stories? Don has Grandpa's rifle and keeps it in good condition, while I keep images pristine.

I am glad I re-visited it.  There was one of the few films of the St. Mehiel offensive, and it was taken down when the provider's YouTube account ceased.  So I went searching and found a site which is astounding with its comprehensive collection of black and white films of WW 1. This is the site, http://www.criticalpast.com, and you could watch these forever, over 4 thousand of them.

The following is an interview with one of the last veterans:




The ultimate and incredible sadness about war is that war never truly ends.  Twenty years after WW1, the sons of WW1 veterans marched into WW2 and Korea.  Then their own sons found Vietnam.  Next generations moved onto Gulf War, Afghanistan, Syria, and more.

As for me, I will keep scrolling back to my past writing, and always hope that what I write has meaning.


36 comments:

  1. No, it never ends. That is the sad and painful truth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can only echo Delores. It never ends. And remembering and repeating is a duty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Camp Pendleton is just over the hill from us. We see those young military men and women every day.

      Delete
  3. War is a constant here. For now.
    Some never speak about what happened. At least you have the memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If anyone knows a veteran, please interview them, talk with them, learn their stories.

      Delete
  4. It does seem that just when we think we've found peace, war starts all over again.
    What part of IL is your sib/sibs in? I grew up in Central Illinois.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We grew up in central IL, over between Mississippi and Illinois rivers, in Pittsfield. We were about 90 miles southeast of Hannibal, across Mississippi. My brother lives in Chatham, IL, near Springfield.
      Jeremiah says something about people saying 'Peace, when there will be no peace.'

      Delete
  5. I wish it could end. And my father, also a veteran, told me that there are no winners in war. That it diminished and changed all the participants and their families.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PTSD creeped throughout all generations of Veterans. Some could talk and share. Others, like my dad and grandpa, didn't talk much until the last years of life.

      Delete
  6. I took a look back through my first posts a couple of years ago and discovered I had a lot more to say back then, the well seems to have dried up quite a bit and I decided to stick with memes for a while, and I'm still there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The look back has inspired me to step up my thinking and writing.

      Delete
  7. It’s good to visit old posts from time to time.

    War’s just awful. I wish I had something more pithy to say. It’s the absurd human constant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conflict leading to war has existed since forever.

      Delete
    2. And I worry that climate change, water shortages, refusal to switch to renewable energy, etc. will only make wars more difficult to avoid. They happen because of an unequal distribution of resources. I don't see how that struggle gets easier anytime soon.

      Delete
  8. Sure seems like it never ends indeed, awful in every way. Good to look at old posts and see how far one has come some days too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me, I was embarrassed and proud at different times..

      Delete
  9. War changes a man (and today, women, too) forever. My husband was a grunt in Vietnam, and it took more than twenty years before he started to resemble the man he was before he went. Even today, there's an undercurrent of cynical "difference" that clings to him. It's such a tragedy that the course of so many lives are irrevocably altered because of the things that happen during wartime... and the things that young men and women are forced to do to survive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your poor beloved! Vietnam was more destructive than can be imagined. Only now are stories emerging.

      Delete
  10. Every generation talks peace; every generation goes to war, and goes to war, and goes to war.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The evil that men do lives after them. the good is often interred with their bones...Wm. Shakespeare. Evil leads to war and death, and keeps rolling along.

      Delete
  11. It's too bad you couldn't film your grandfather telling those stories. At least you could bear witness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technology to do that wasn't there. Now, I live in a retirement community where there are many WW2 veterans. Had a recorded interview with one already. Now just need to find more. Good idea.

      Delete
  12. It's wonderful that we can revisit stories in our minds. I have many memories from my maternal grandfather who fought in WWII and the Korean War. He never talked much about the wars, but I got images and feelings from him. The same with my Dad who fought in Vietnam. Most of what I learned about their wartime was from others and from letters and pictures found long after they were gone.

    Hang onto those images, both mental and physical. They are precious :) Have a wonderful week!

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You also have some great sources! Those letters and photos are treasures.

      Delete
  13. I often scroll back to earlier posts. I find I had more to say in those days, now I seem not to be able to get away from the present and the trivia of daily life.

    Family histories are very important, it’s the only place where we keep hold of the past and those who came before us. We all only live in the minds of those who immediately follow us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to see your name here. There is a song, "May those who come after us find us faithful". I hope that is the case for my descendants.

      When we moved from our house of 27 years, I faced some serious depression about all our belongings and my own records of teaching. I wanted to sever those memories, so recklessly those papers went into recycling. I wish I could take it back.

      Delete
  14. Dear Susan, thank you for this posting about your grandpa. And thank you, too, for sharing the video of one of the last doughboys. I've read a lot of books about a lot of wars and seldom does anything really get settled in a way that brings a lasting. Even the American Revolution was followed by the War of 1812. But in the past 100 years it's been war after war that our young men and also now our young women have marched off too. In several wars, many found themselves wondering just what they were doing in a distant land. I wish we'd spend as much time pursuing peace as we do war. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. War after war will always lead to more wars. Peace will be achieved only when both countries pursue peace.

      Delete
    2. Dear Susan, I agree. When will be have a Cabinet of Peace in which we study peace? When will we have an "Eastpoint" instead of a "Westpoint"? one would study peace just as one studies war! Peace.

      Delete
  15. Veterans are patriots who have defended of our way of life and afforded us the freedoms which we now hold dear. You stories keeps their memory alive and honors them Susan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These brave men and women must not be forgetten. WW1 is a forgotten war in many ways. there is a 6 part documentary coming on tv soon.

      Delete
  16. It is good to look back on old posts from time to time ...

    Looking back - it would appear that in each generation peace is being spoken of while war continues with a vengeance. So many areas of the world are and have been affected, still we talk and still many are being killed.

    My Dear Dad often spoke about his WW2 experience, although some areas he didn't want to. He went into several Junior Schools in his area and spoke to pupils ...it is so important to speak and always important to listen.
    Perhaps one day real lessons will be learned?

    Great post.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish that could be true.

      Your father gave something those students would never learn otherwise. God bless him.

      Delete
  17. I really like your post good blog on site,Thanks for your sharing.

    หนังออนไลน์

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!