Day: May 14, 2016

Gang aft agleyGang aft agley

“All planning was not just likely to recoil ironically; it was almost certain to do so. Human beings were clearly not machines. They were mysterious congeries of twisted will and error, misapprehension and misrepresentation, and the expected could not be expected of them.” – Lieutenant Paul Fussell, 103rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army (quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Guns at Last Light)

Dead heroes, buried far from homeDead heroes, buried far from home

“ ‘Everybody shares the same universals—hope, love, humor, faith,’ Private First Class Richard E. Cowan of the 2nd Infantry Division had written his family in Kansas on December 5 [1944], his twenty-second birthday. Two weeks later he was dead, killed near Krinkelt after holding off German attackers with a machine gun long enough to cover his comrades’ escape. ‘It is such a bitter dose to have to take,’ his mother confessed after hearing the news, ‘and I am not a bit brave about it.’ Cowan would be awarded the Medal of Honor, one of thirty-two recognizing heroics in the Bulge. Like so many thousands of others, he would be interred . . . along with his last full measure of hope, love, humor, and faith.” – Rick Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light