In 1944, the United States led the Allies and assaulted the Axis troops as they stormed the northern beaches of France. It was a surprise attack, but hard to make the impact Japan did at Pearl Harbor four years three years earlier. Eisenhower led the troops, and they had heavy losses. Many troops lost their lives. At the American cemeteries, there are some 9,386 US troops buried there. There is also a wall of the missing, containing 1,557 names. Most were killed during the landing and ensuing battles at the entry point to the country.
It’s been 79 years since this event. I remember learning about it in school, our US History class. Are kids taught those things anymore? What a different world we would live in if the Japanese and Germans would have defeated us. I cannot comprehend the vast differences, aside from a total lack of freedom.
Of course, growing up Catholic, the freedom we were most taught about was the freedom of religion. Our training back then focused on defending your faith to the bitter end, and dying for it if necessary. That is quite a lesson for little kids, beginning at 7 or 8.
Our Monsignor taught each class once a week. Looking back, he would concentrate on the torture of the martyrs. It was horribly embarrassing when he would talk about the females having their breasts cut off. Why in the world would he need to focus on that part? Never mentioned about what horrors the males could suffer. It was so uncomfortable!
Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” is a very accurate depiction of what the nuns taught us in the 60’s. The torture, the scourging, the actual crucifiction itself, were all emblazoned in each of our young minds. Yes, Christ died for our sins. We weren’t taught about all the horrific sins grown ups committed, aside from murder, stealing. Rape, incest, and any other atrocity one human commits against another weren’t mentioned. I never could figure out how my lie to my mother could cause Jesus to die like that.
The movie didn’t upset me with it’s violence. It is what we were taught. Did that make us numb to the atrocity? I don’t think so, and many would disagree with me. Some Protestant women I knew at the time the movie was released said they wouldn’t see it, as it was an assault on their senses.
We’re not worthy. But He died for us anyway. And He loves us far more than He judges us.
I certainly am not the one to decide who goes to heaven. As a kid, yes, we were taught you had to be Catholic. We lived in a neighborhood where the little old people were Lutheran, or Presbyterian, or even twice-a-year Catholics. They were all nice people. No one can tell me Mrs. Owens or Mrs. Prochaska who were bonus grandmas for us would not go to heaven. They were wonderful ladies.
It’s amazing what we learn as we grow up and are exposed to bigger worlds than in the shelter of childhood.
Growing up, we were fairly sequestered in our local neighborhood, not going past about five miles from our home. After I got married young, the trying new things was intoxicating. Until it wasn’t. I needed more security in my life. I needed more say-so in helping to plot my life, not have the husband do it for me as I was led to believe was the thing to do.
If your world doesn’t expand in your late teens and twenties, it can’t be lived to it’s fullest! Of course, you need to be cautious, but my gosh, make and take opportunities! It’s a great thing to learn. Try it. You’ll like it. And do it now. You have time, regardless of your age. It’s never too late. Get started!
Have a beautiful Wednesday, and see you tomorrow!