26 May 2024

“The Soldier’s Faith”

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was a Second Lieutenant in the 20th Massachusetts Regiment during the Civil War.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. gave a famous speech at Soldiers Field on Memorial Day 1895, in honor of Harvard University’s Civil War dead. It’s a particularly appropriate read at this time of year.

Behind every scheme to make the world over, lies the question: What kind of world do you want? The ideals of the past for men have been drawn from war, as those for women have been drawn from motherhood. For all our prophecies, I doubt if we are ready to give up our inheritance. Who is there who would not like to be thought a gentleman? Yet what has that name been built on but the soldier’s choice of honor rather than life? To be a soldier or descended from soldiers, in time of peace to be ready to give one’s life rather than suffer disgrace, that is what the word has meant; and if we try to claim it at less cost than a splendid carelessness for life, we are trying to steal the good will without the responsibilities of the place. We will not dispute about tastes. The man of the future may want something different. But who of us could endure a world, although cut up into five acre lots, and having no man upon it who was not well fed and well housed, without the divine folly of honor, without the senseless passion for knowledge outreaching the flaming bounds of the possible, without ideals the essence of which is that they can never be achieved? I do not know what is true. I do not know the meaning of the universe. But in the midst of doubt, in the collapse of creeds, there is one thing I do not doubt, that no man who lives in the same world with most of us can doubt, and that is that the faith is true and adorable which leads a soldier to throw away his life in obedience to a blindly accepted duty, in a cause which he little understands, in a plan of campaign of which he has little notion, under tactics of which he does not see the use.

Most men who know battle know the cynic force with which the thoughts of common sense will assail them in times of stress; but they know that in their greatest moments faith has trampled those thoughts underfoot. If you wait in line, suppose on Tremont Street Mall, ordered simply to wait and do nothing, and have watched the enemy bring their guns to bear upon you down a gentle slope like that of Beacon Street, have seen the puff of the firing, have felt the burst of the spherical case-shot as it came toward you, have heard and seen the shrieking fragments go tearing through your company, and have known that the next or the next shot carries your fate; if you have advanced in line and have seen ahead of you the spot you must pass where the rifle bullets are striking; if you have ridden at night at a walk toward the blue line of fire at the dead angle of Spotsylvania, where for twenty-four hours the soldiers were fighting on the two sides of an earthwork, and in the morning the dead and dying lay piled in a row six deep, and as you rode you heard the bullets splashing in the mud and earth about you; if you have been in the picket line at night in a black and unknown wood, have heard the splat of the bullets upon the trees, and as you moved have felt your foot slip upon a dead man’s body; if you have had a blind fierce gallop against the enemy, with your blood up and a pace that left no time for fear—if, in short, as some, I hope many, who hear me, have known, you have known the vicissitudes of terror and triumph in war; you know that there is such a thing as the faith I spoke of. You know your own weakness and are modest; but you know that man has in him that unspeakable somewhat which makes him capable of miracle, able to lift himself by the might of his own soul, unaided, able to face annihilation for a blind belief.

RTWT

26 May 2024

My Father’s War

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WGZInduction1942
My father (on the left, wearing jacket & tie, holding the large envelope), aged 26, was the oldest in this group of Marine Corps volunteers from Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, September 1942, so he was put in charge.

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William G. Zincavage, Fall 1942, after graduating Marine Corps Boot Camp

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WGZBillyClub
Military Police, North Carolina, Fall 1942
He was only 5′ 6″, but he was so tough that they made him an MP.

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3rdDivision
Third Marine Division

1stAmphibiousCorps
I Marine Amphibious Corps

First Amphibious Corps, Third Marine Division, Special Troops:
Solomon Islands Consolidation (Guadalcanal), Winter-Spring 1943
New Georgia Group Operation (Vella LaVella, Rendova), Summer 1943
“The Special Troops drew the first blood.” — Third Divisional History.

“We never saw them but they were running away.” — William G. Zincavage

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3rdAmphibious-Corps
III Marine Amphibious Corps

Third Amphibious Corps, Third Marine Division, Special Troops:
Marianas Operation (Guam), Summer 1944

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5thAmphibious-Corps
V Marine Amphibious Corps

Fifth Amphibious Corps, Third Marine Division, Special Troops:
Iwo Jima Operation, February-March 1945

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Navy Unit Commendation (Iwo Jima)
Good Conduct Medal
North American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with Four Bronze Stars

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While recovering from malaria after the Battle of Iwo Jima, he looked 70 years old.

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But he was back to normal in December of 1945, when this photo was taken shortly before he received his discharge.

26 May 2024

Memorial Day

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All of my grandparents’ sons and one daughter, now all departed, served.

JoeZincavage1
Joseph Zincavage (1907-1998) Navy
(No wartime photograph available, but he’s sitting on a Henderson Motorcycle in this one.)


William Zincavage (1914-1997) Marine Corps


Edward Zincavage (1917-2002) Marine Corps


Eleanor Zincavage Cichetti (1922-2003) Marine Corps.

23 May 2024

Even Left-Wing Comedy Central Feels Obliged to Mock Kamala Harris

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23 May 2024

Blue State Newspeak

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22 May 2024

They Are Big

That girl is small, but…

16 May 2024

John Lennon’s Son Tweets

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I had heard there was some sort of flap on over in blighty about some recent royal portrait. Now having seen it, I understand why there’s been just a bit of critical commentary.

If Hans Holbein had done something like that to Henry VIII, he’d have been charged with Treason and met a very gruesome end at Tyburn.

16 May 2024

He May Not Be Straight, But He’s Still “a White Middle-Aged Bloke.”

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16 May 2024

Skilled Work

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This is the corner of a hand sewn sail made in the 1800s. The craftsmanship and quality of the work is amazing. This is a lost art.

The canvas sails were made of hemp along with clothing, ropes, and the caulking used to fill gaps between planks among other things. Hemp is 3 times stronger than jute and was preferred because it was unaffected by salt water.

The work done by sail makers was demanding and left no room for error as their sails would be what brings fishermen home safely.”

Archaeology & Civilizations by Lori Michael Malone.

15 May 2024

Coming Soon: the Bladeless Swiss Army Knife

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Swiss Army Knife Champ.

The Guardian reports that, in response to the ever-shrinking range of personal liberty in European countries, Victorinox has plans underway for a new line of neutered, i.e. knifeless, pocket knives.

For more than a century, the Swiss army knife has been an essential piece of kit for everyone from picnickers and equestrians, to golfers and astronauts.

But now the maker of the pocket-knife, with its red or blue shell and multiple tools, has bowed to what an English judge last week called the “plague of knife crime” by designing a new range without blades.

In response to an increasing number of countries imposing bans or restrictions on carrying knives, Victorinox, the Swiss firm that produces the pocket tools, is in the early stages of developing the first range of bladeless products designed specifically for activities where a blade would not be required.

“We’re concerned about the increasing regulation of knives due to the violence in the world,” said Carl Elsener, the fourth-generation CEO of the family-run company.

“In some markets, the blade creates an image of a weapon. I have in mind creating a tool that would be useful for cyclists. Cyclists have a need for specific tools but not necessarily a blade,” he said. “We already have a tool specifically for golfers.”

Last week, Mr Justice Saini blamed the “plague of knife crime” in Bristol and surrounding areas for the murder of 16-year-old Mikey Roynon, a talented teenage rapper stabbed in the neck at a house party in Bath.

The same week, a 15-year-old boy who stabbed another teenager in the heart in full view of pupils leaving a primary school in Leeds, was found guilty of murder. …

Under UK law, a person can only carry a knife in public if it has a folding blade that is less than 3in (7.62cm) long.

For all other knives, it is illegal to carry them in public without a good reason, which can include needing the knife for work, wearing it as part of a national costume or for religious reasons, such as the curved kirpan knife carried by some Sikhs.

Elsener said Victorinox was responding to the tightening of regulations by developing blade-less tools for specific outdoor activities or sports.

Victorinox produces about 10m of the pocket tools each year. There are about 400 different types to choose from, including one that boasts 73 functions. They have even been carried into space by Nasa astronauts.

However, until now they have always had at least one blade.

The company has already had to adapt its products to tightened restrictions on carrying knives and in the aftermath of 9/11 the company’s sales fell by 30%.

Even in Switzerland, the home of the brand, there has been discussion about what people are permitted to carry. In 2016, there was a parliamentary debate about banning blades longer than 5cm. One MP even asked: “Will the famous Swiss army knife be forbidden?” The proposed amendment was dropped.

RTWT

15 May 2024

More Wokerie at Disney

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“Tinkerbell, unfortunately, has become an problematic image for our guests; specifically, young girls. Specifically, in terms of the portrayal of an unrealistic body image as well as dependency of approval and/or attention from Peter Pan, as seen in previous incarnations of the character. We feel these traits are no longer representive of our inclusive focused values and thus, are currently in process of redesigning an updated Tinkerbell for modern audiences.”

– Disney Rep, May 2024

13 May 2024

Jefferson On Approaching Death

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On May 11 in 1819, Thomas Jefferson wrote about making peace with his slow descent toward death.

A decline of health, at the age of 76, was naturally to be expected,” he wrote, “and is a warning of an event which cannot be distant, and whose approach I contemplate with little concern. For indeed in no circumstance has nature been kinder to us than in the soft gradations by which she prepares us to part willingly with what we are not destined always to retain.

“First one faculty is withdrawn and then another, sight, hearing, memory, eucrasy, affections, and friends, filched one by one till we are left among strangers, the mere monuments of times past, and specimens of antiquity for the observation of the curious.”

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