Parades and the military, then and now

The NYT says the armed forces are freaking out over the military aspect of the 4th of July parade. CNN agrees that the Trumpster “could put military personnel in the position of violating Defense Department guidelines prohibiting men and women in uniform from engaging in political activity.” Yikes!!!!

Looking back a few years, here’s another Washington parade featuring armed Army and Navy military marchers, and, at the one minute mark of the video, a US Navy torpedo-armed fast attack vessel (MTB) used by the United States Navy in World War II. The next year, the boat was immortalized in pop music (here’s a video), to indoctrinate the young with its vile, hateful lyrics:

In ’43 they put to sea, thirteen men and Kennedy
Aboard the P.T. 109, to fight the brazen enemy
And off the isle of ol’ Lusana, in the strait beyond Nehru
A Jap deatroyer in the night cut the ‘109 in two

Smoke and fire upon the sea
Everywhere they looked was the enemy
The heathen gods of old Japan
Yeah, the thought they had the best of a mighty good man

And on the coast of Kolombangaro, looking through his telescope
Australian Evans saw the battle for the crew had little hope
Two were dead, some were wounded, all were clinging to the bow
Fighting fire and a-fighting water trying to save their lives somehow

Smoke and fire upon the sea
Everywhere they looked was the enemy
The heathen gods of old Japan
Yeah, they thought they had the best of a mighty good man

McMahon the Irishman was burned so badly, he couldn’t swim
Leave me, here go on, he said ’cause if you don’t we’ll all be dead
The PT skipper couldn’t leave him, a man to die alone at sea
And with a strap between his teeth, he towed the Irishman through the sea

Smoke and fire upon the sea
Everywhere they looked was the enemy
The heathen gods of old Japan
Yeah, they thought they had the best of a mighty good man

He led his men through waters dark, rocky reefs and hungry sharks
Braved the ennemy’s bayonets, a .38 hung ’round his neck
Four more days and four more nights a rescue boat pulled into sight
The P.T. 109 was gone but Kennedy and his crew lived on

Now who could guess or who could possibly know
That this same man named Kennedy

Would be the leader of the nation, be the one to take command?
The P.T. 109 was gone but Kennedy lived to fight again

Smoke and fire upon the sea
Everywhere they looked was the enemy
But JFK and his crew lived on

Which proves it’s hard to get the best of a man named John

(Big John)
(Big John)
(Big John)
(Big John)

So at the NYT and CNN, are they “proud of our ancient heritage?” Do they think “the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”

Just asking.

3 Responses to “Parades and the military, then and now”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    This is less about military or The Fourth and all about opposing Trump.

    Knee-jerk reaction of the Left is to take the opposite position on any Trump decision. A sterling example was a couple of weeks ago when they expected him to attack Iran, and criticized him in advance, then turned around and criticized him for NOT attacking Iran when he ruled that out.

    There is no conceivable way that Trump can do anything to please them. They won’t allow it to happen.

  2. feeblemind Says:

    BTW, I think I still have the 45 rpm single of the PT-109.

  3. Bob Risko Says:

    In 1979, I went to the military parade that traditionally accompanies Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, with none other than Valéry Marie René Giscard d’Estaing heading the reviewing stand. Now, it’s a little Third World to parade your military hardware through the streets of the capital, but I think it’s basically a great idea. In the end, it’s essentially harmless, just an outsized outdoor party that gives the people a chance to flamethrow their patriotism and to remind the world, as Trump correctly puts it, that “our button is bigger than theirs,” which isn’t always a bad thing. So I say throw the party; just make sure there’s music and plenty of croque-monsieur and bière to go around, that’s all.

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