VE Day

Richard “Dick” Winters dies at 92

Major Richard “Dick” Winters, best known for his heroism in WW2, has died.

Winters began his career in the Army shortly before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, and he volunteered to become a paratrooper, according to his wartime memoirs “Beyond Band of Brothers.”

He was assigned to E Company, more commonly known as Easy Company, of the 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division.

After months of training in the new tactic of soldiers dropping by parachute behind enemy lines, Winters and the men of Easy Company parachuted into Normandy hours before the first troops hit Omaha and Utah beaches on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

When he landed he discovered he’d lost his “leg bag,” the satchel carrying all his weapons, when he jumped out of the plane.

He was behind enemy lines on the most decisive day of World War II with nothing but a knife.

“I later discovered that in our small contingent from Easy Company, we all lost our leg bags and ended up using whatever weapons he could scrounge,” Winters wrote in his memoirs. “This was a hell of a way to begin a war.”

Still, within hours he organized a small group of troopers to attack a German artillery position. They took out nearly two dozen Nazi soldiers and four large cannons which had been firing on American troops landing on the beaches.

I find it upsetting that I am just finding this news. Winters, recently portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, is a notable figure and his death on January 2nd should have been more widely reported. (Another war hero, Ray Holmes, had his death reported seemingly more promptly.)

I could have gone on quoting the article to show all the tremendous feats Winters accomplished, but then I would just be re-publishing virtually every bit of it. Do read the whole thing yourself. Find out about this man.

Ignoring points

People prefer rhetoric. They do not care about the details. That is why creationism thrives. It’s why global warming denialists still have a place. It’s why Republicans get elected (Democrats, too). It’s so much easier to paint life with a broad brush – black and white colors only – than to actually delve into the nuance of existence.

Rather than address specific points, people give responses filled with rhetoric. When did this happen? When did we become a nation based upon the best zinger? Look at Joe the Plumber. That asshole was nothing but a political tool (and real life tool). America ate up that fecal deposit.

Go on to any random message board or comment section for any article. If people are disagreeing about an issue (and they are), they aren’t going point-by-point. They aren’t saying “I disagree with this statement and here’s why”. They’re saying “I disagree with your primary position and for that reason do not care to address anything you say”. It’s vapid.

(By the way, my post title references the final episode of “Band of Brothers”.)