and U.S. Armed Forces Near and Far
(This post originally had a Youtube link of Judy Garland singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" over a montage of 1944 WWII GIs decorarting Christmas trees in European war zones, opening care packages, etc. It was very movinng, but the link was removed by Youtube)
I’ve been sharing glimpses of the Christmas “specials” that my family used to enjoy in the 60’s. "Meet Me in St.Louis" introduced a Christmas song intended to speak to the nation during World War II. (This was five years after The Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland was now 21 years old.)
Here’s what else was happening during filming of this classic. The year was 1944, three Christmases had passed since Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, and in three months an American flag would be hoisted up by beleaguered soldiers on Iwo Jima. The movie’s first preview was June 5, the day before the “D-Day” invasion on the beaches of Normandy.
Knowing this, it’s altogether fitting that this particular clip [now removed had been] been mixed with newsreel footage of American GIs, ordinary men trying to make merry far from home.
During this current war on terrorism, we’ve heard plenty of the anti-American sentiment and negativity. Don’t believe it. Here’s what England's Prime Minister Tony Blair's said recently when asked by one of his Parliament members why he believes so much in America:
"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out. Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ & The American G.I. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom."