One thing that is the same now as it was then is the concept of war. Sure, we have much more superior technology now with our smart bombs and precision guided missiles, but war is all the same as it was sixty years to the day today, D-Day. People still die as they did in WWII, but today is different. We had a purpose then. Do we have a purpose now?
I'm listening to the news reports from there, from d-day times, via a superior technology today, satellite. It still brings me back as if by a time machine to what it might have been like during the sixth of June, 1944. Though the voices are being converted by my relatively ultrasmall satellite receiver from 1's and 0's to vintage sounding speech, its all the same for me today as it was for them. I can picture whole families gathered around their huge (as compared to my receiver) tube radios to catch the news garnered from the state-of-the-art wireless telegraph system that the news agencies used.
Now, its close to the same. During the last invasion of Iraq, we all sat sat clustered around a TV and watched as the news came in. There's one difference though, and its a huge one, between the news reports of today and those from then. Today, there's a constant stream of news.
"Let's go to reporter John Smith LIVE via video phone who is embeded in the 2nd infantry devision."
We're then transformed and transfixed by images from the battlefield. Sometimes, we even get to watch an "exclusive", a gunbattle, live. Reporters and anchors talk off the cuff, spewing forth numbers and estimates, throwing up maps and projections, and going to various pictures and photographs.
Though the action goes just as fast as it did then, listening to this coverage is almost like reading a book. Its unfolding slowly, well as slowly as they can speak or tap out on a telegraph, the icoming bulletins. Its much easier for me as a blind person to follow it. And it also seems as if they're better reporters. Either that, or they're preparing much more diligently for the air. It sounds like they're all reading a script slowly and with dignity, almost like listening to a particularly monotone talking book reader. I kind of like it better though. I'd much rather have monotone and accurate, than flashy and FoxNews-ish. I'd rather have a delay in reporting then the constant stream of live feeds from moving tanks.
All of this technology that we have today is mind boggling, almost as the technology of then was just as amazing. It has been very interesting to hear the stories as if I were there, from a time when I was 35 years from being. I just wish I had talked to my Grandpa more about his participation in the D-day invasion. I wish I'd gotten HIS frst hand reports of what it was like rather than, as I am now, getting it from the NBC bureau in long ago New York.
Long ago. The generation sure is a legacy, soon will be a legacy, because life tends to end as years go by. Let's hope that those 1's and 0's that are our world, help to keep those stories alive at least in a recording. All we have to do now is talk to those veterans and continue recording and remembering. We'll hope that people will remember and record what we're doing now in the wars of today, and that the endings will, as they were after D-Day, be both positive and relatively soon.