Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day - Do we know how much they suffered?

As we remember Memorial Day this weekend, let's not forget the deadliest war in American history - the Civil War. Both sides, both Americans suffered great loses.

As a civilian, I can't fathom the depths of which many of our veterans have suffered, especially those who were POWs - Prisoners of War.

This George Root (1820 - 1895) Civil War song, Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!, of a Union prisoner does give a glimpse into the angish of a soldier's soul as well as the hope of being released by his comrades in arms.

The video clip below is sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and is one of the most moving renditions of this song.

The words are below:

In the prison cell I sit,
Thinking Mother dear of you,
And our bright and happy home so far away,
And the tears they fill my eyes
Spite of all that I can do
Though I try to cheer my comrades
and be gay.

Tramp! tramp! tramp!
The boys are marching
Cheer up comrades,
They will come.
And beneath the starry flag
We shall breathe the air again
Of the free land in our own beloved home.

In the battle front we stood
When their fiercest charge they made,
And they swept us off a hundred men or more;
But before we reached their lines
They were beaten back, dismayed,
And we heard the cry of vict'ry o'er and o'er.

So within the prison cell
We are waiting for the day
That shall come to open wide the iron door;
And the hollow eye grows bright
And the poor heart almost gay
As we think of seeing home and friends once more.

Photo from Wiki Commons: Tramp, Tramp, Tramp

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dr. Who and World War Two - VE Day is coming.

Sixty-five years ago, May 8, 1945 was VE Day - Victory in Europe. It marked the beginning of the end of World War Two.

For this milestone, I put together a tribute garnered from BBC's Dr. Who, the longest running Sci-Fi program in the world.

"The Doctor," a Time Lord, regularly regenerates into different incarnations as he travels through time and space, usually with a mortal female companion. His vehicle, the TARDIS, resembles an old fashioned British Police Box, which is bigger on the inside that the outside. Oh, the marvels of science fiction.

Two 2005 episodes, "The Empty Child" and its sequel "The Doctor Dances", are set in Great Britain during the onslaught of World War Two. The TARDIS lands the ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, and his companion Rose Tyler from 21st century London, back in London of 1941 during the Blitz.

The Doctor and Rose encounter a young woman, Nancy, who recently lost a close member of her family. Scavenging for food during the air raids, while most Londoners are in their bomb shelters, Nancy cares for many children, left orphans by the war.

In this following scene from "The Empty Child," the Doctor commends Nancy for their tenacity, during a time which Sir Winston Churchill had described as "their finest hour."

In this following clip of the second part, "The Doctor Dances," Rose, who as a time traveller knows that VE Day is coming, offers Nancy encouragement.

In these episode clips, I saw a Christian allegory for our present times.

We feel the fury of the enemy dropping bombs of cruel hate all about to dishearten us, defeat us, demoralize us, and destroy everything that is good in this life. At times, there appears no deliverance or escape from the evil in this world and no end to the assaults of the enemy.

But we know Someone greater than a fictional Time Lord - the Lord of time and space, Creator of the universe. And He has already written the future:

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Isaiah 46:9,10 (King James Version)
He is engaged in this long war between good and evil in human history. And to encourage us, He tells us how it will all end - He wins!

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Isaiah 25:8, 9 (King James Version)
His VE Day - Victory over Everything - is coming when -

Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.
Hebrews 2:8 (King James Version)
As we endure the Blitz of these present spiritual battles and tribulations in this world, may His finest hour be lived through us by the power of His Spirit.

photo from wikipedia: TARDIS