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Omaha Beach: Forever Hallowed

Inscribed upon this monument, located at the heart of Omaha Beach, is the following text: "THIS EMBATTLED SHORE, PORTAL OF FREEDOM, IS FOREVER HALLOWED BY THE IDEALS, THE VALOR AND THE SACRIFICES OF OUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN" (1)

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L’escalier Stratégiques

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Omaha Beach: A Broader View

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A side of Omaha Beach not often seen, depicting another less-photographed area of the cemetery.

WWII Tidbits: Video Entry

Note: Adventure Writer is depicted nowhere in this video, although did capture the moment.

Captain America: The First Avenger – Review

Captain America: The First Avenger

Image via Wikipedia

“You win wars with guts…”

…and boy does this guy have guts! Captain America: The First Avenger is the latest film in The Avengers lineup and its nostalgic nature, explosive action, and sentimental qualities make it stand out among its predecessors as something uniquely distinct, and a film worth watching if you’ve taken positively to previous installments.

“There are men laying down their lives. I got no right to do any less than them.”

Captain America: TFA, takes place during World War II when America first gets involved and the recruitment process is in full swing. Propaganda posters are plastered on any available space, and Uncle Sam calls the men of America to action. Many bold young man take up the challenge, seeing the war as one of life’s great adventures or the chance to serve one’s country. One of these men is Steve Rogers – a thin, almost frail young man, who passionately desires to serve on the front line. He attempts to register many times, each with the same result.

“Just give me a chance…”

“Sorry son – I’m saving your life.”

In each of his efforts, he is never granted his place on the front lines, but rather a stamp of REJECTION. Until one day, a German doctor (serving the United States) named Abraham Erskine, offers him a chance.

While in Germany, Abraham Erskine had been developing a serum to strengthen the human metabolism, structure, and immune system. In it’s early stages of development, however, he was interrupted by Johann Schmidt – a Nazi, working under Hitler, under the control of HYDRA Division – a science & cult division of the military which would in the future secede to wage its own war for world domination. Schmidt saw a potential use for the serum in military practice, able to create the perfect army (reminiscent of Hulk), but first he had to try it out on himself. Dr. Erskine attempts to inform the commander that the serum is not ready for human testing, to no avail, Schmidt injects the serum into his system with an atrocious result – the birth of the Red Skull. An effect of the serum was that it enhanced a human’s values and character, and as Schmidt was a self-centered, wicked man, the serum amplified the evil within, as well as providing a horrid face defect that essentially explains his newly gained title (the Red Skull).

Steve Rogers is offered the same serum, which has been modified to a point of seeming perfection, which he eagerly takes up. In the process of prior military training, he meets a woman named Peggy Carter, a strong-willed woman who would prove to be his life-long love interest. After being given the serum, Steve Rogers becomes Captain America – a propaganda tool in the hands of the U.S. military. He is made to dress up in showy costumes, among pretty girls, and put on a show for the American people and soldiers abroad. He advocates recruitment, bonds, and other war-supporting mediums, becoming an American icon like Uncle Sam. Rogers, however, is not satisfied. He is grateful that he has the chance to serve his country, but he has not yet had the chance to do it battle. He would soon have his chance, however, when his friend goes missing while on a mission to invade HYDRA. Against orders, he sets out alone and rescues the division, coming back with a team that would serve him throughout the rest of the war. Yet a dark shadow looms over them all, as Schmidt paves the way for world domination. Will Captain America be able to save the world? And how will he suddenly end up in the modern Avengers? Well… that’s all explained at the end. SPOILERS FOLLOW, HIGHLIGHT TO READ Captain America successfully takes down Schmidt with the same technology he had been planning to use against the world (stolen from Asgard), but sacrifices himself by plummeting into some area of Northern Canada with a colossal HYDRA bomber plane. After the American forces lose his signal, Stark Sr. and Peggy make a desperate search for Rogers, which only bears fruit in the modern day, years later. Captain America is discovered buried under the snow, preserved in his state at the time of the crash. SHIELD, the government organization which investigated Thor and recruited Stark Jr. and Stark Sr., takes in Captain America while he is still in a coma (or deep sleep) and places him in a facility that attempts to imitate the time which he lived in, to enable an easy transition into the modern day. When he awakes, however, Rogers sees through the deception and tears his way to the New York streets, before being intercepted by SHIELD. After a thorough explanation, Captain America decides to join the team. After the credits are all over, there is a special ending showing Rogers training in a (most likely) SHIELD facility. Followed by a preview of The Avengers.

Captain America: The First Avenger, although not at the level of acclaim as Iron Man, is an overall splendid film and a suitable addition to the Avengers line-up (Further Analysis Tomorrow). Content is appropriate for older children (12-13+), considering some scary images and violence related with HYDRA and the Red Skull. (In-depth Christian and Family Perspective Tomorrow) The movie contains Biblical values of moral character and perseverance, yet has some iffy themes as well (click Christian for details from PluggedIn.com).

WWII Tidbits: Introduction to Omaha Beach (Video)

WWII Tidbits: Omaha Beach Cemetary

Gazing at Time Long Past

Q: What did the grounds around Omaha Beach look like before now, during WWII? A: Before it was devoid of trees, devoid of any cover and they were just trench systems firing down onto the beach. We'll walk into the cemetery first, then walk around where we can find a better idea of that. -British Tour Guide: Normandy, France And that we will... in photographs and additional WWII Tidbits!

WWII Tidbits: The Mortar Men

The Story of General McNair (WWII Tidbits)

General McNaire was a senior officer of American forces in Europe and he had a lovely office in London. 25th of July was the Operation Cobra – the big breakout through Maroney, and he thought, I think I’m going to see the boys go into action. So he went upon to the front line and the plan for Cobra was that they would withdraw American forces from their front line, for safety, about a thousand yards. And then bomb the German frontline about a mile long, along the Parisian low road. So they did all that and took the American forces out of the front line and brought over a load of bombers, they liked bombing, and dropped the bombs straight onto the American forces, and killed four hundred American soldiers. Not the first and only time, there’s nothing new about that. But poor old McNair was one of them. So instead of sitting out the war in his office, he now joined [the soldiers at the Omaha Beach cemetery].

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Grave of General Lesley J. McNair - Omaha, Beach

World War II Tidbits

Over the next few days I’ll post some World War II “tidbits” – photographs and the stories behind them.

Today, the Location is: Omaha, Beach, Subject: Jewish Soldiers.

“[Out of] the British and Canadians, a few were Jewish. / On your dog tag they always showed your religion, but they would change the name of a Jew, particularly Jews who had escaped to occupied Europe. They used to change their name to a very English name, and would give them another religion. [In case] they were captured. But the American forces didn’t do that. And I brought a couple of Israelis here not so long ago and asked them about this (indicates pebble upon Jewish grave marker). Putting a stone on their [marker]. And I thought it was to show that someone just visited the grave, but it’s just a sort of act of earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. And it’s a tradition in Israel – the Jewish faith. You make some little marker.” –Tour Guide

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The grave marker of an American soldier with the Jewish faith, indicated upon and by the design of his marker.