Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"The War" #2

Some soul scorching footage tonight:

1944, Battle of Anzio (Italy)

During fighting so fierce that soldiers received additional shrapnel wounds while getting their initial wounds stitched up on the operating table, an American Mess Officer falls to his knees and offers the following prayer "God Help Us. Come down yourself. Don't send Jesus. This is no place for children."

Just after the four month battle of Anzio ends, Babe Ciarlo, from Waterbury, CT is killed. He's 20 years old and the second son of a large Italian American family. In his pockets are found the following: 2 rosaries, 1 letter, 16 photographs of family members and $1.61.

During the battle of Anzio the documentary should this awful footage of the Allies bombing Mounte Cassio. That would be THE monastery where Saint Benedict wrote the Benedictine Rule in 529 A.D. which became the founding principle for all western monasticism. To read more about the two German officers who saved the priceless library of over 70,000 ancient books, go to this site

1 comment:

Bob's Flying Tigers said...

I too was deeply affected by what I saw on the second offering of Ken Burns' documentary. I think that it was Sherman who said, "War is hell." And everything I saw last night as well as the daily reports of suffering in Iraq verify that statement. The words of the sergeant's prayer really got to me. It sounded both realistic from a human standpoint and insightful theologically. And having studied the Rule of St. Benedict, I have heard of the monastery at Monte Cassino. We owe a debt to Ken Burns for doing such an excellent job of portraying the impact of WWII on the lives of ordinary citizens.