After watching the television show this past week about General W.T. Sherman, I was left feeling angry and somewhat confused. This show seemed to present General Sherman as a military genius who performed great deeds of bravery and military skills. While this story unfolded, I watched as the "bummers" stole, torchered, and killed members of the civilian population. Civilian cities were burned to the ground, and military units consisting of young boys and older men were slaughtered. He also used POW’s as human shields against mines placed in the road, and threatened more harm to POW’s if his Army were attacked. Yet, the overall tone of the program was "Hail the Conquering Hero". This goes with the anger part of my opening statement.
Now for my confusion. As a young southern boy sitting on the porch listening to my great uncle’s and Grandfather talking about WWII. They told me of the war in the Pacific around the Philippines, where my uncle received two purple hearts and his CIB. The Japanese used American POW’s as human shields to prevent artillery attacks and air raids, and how everyone deemed them cowards and inhuman for using prisoners in this manner. Isn’t it strange what was once held as "cowardly behavior" in WWII, is now held as "Heroic" in 2011, by the broadcasting networks?
Your Obedient Servant,
SCV Camp 2068