Please see special note at the end of this post.
We are a society that preaches Peace and reveres War. Evidence of this is around us everywhere, every day.
In recent days I had two experiences which helped greatly to put this into dissonance into sharper focus, and provide an opportunity for reflection. If you are interested in the issue of War and Peace, the contents of this post, far beyond the words in this column, might prove stimulating for you.
GARRY DAVIS: On July 24, 2013, Garry Davis passed away.
You’ve never heard of Garry Davis? Until three years ago, neither had I. Still, on July 29, 2013, the New York Times carried a long article about him on page one of their New York City Edition. He is someone I’m very glad I came to know, albeit very late in his long life.
Following are some commentaries about Garry Davis from many places, all written within the last two weeks. The only descriptors I feel a need to provide about Garry Davis are: WWII United States Bomber pilot in the European campaign; aspiring Broadway star; “rock star” for Peace and a new way of solving problems without bombs.
The New York Times front page article July 29, 2013: G Davis NYT 072813001
The Los Angeles Times, August 1, 2013: G Davis LATimes 080113002
The Japan Times, July 30, 2013: G Davis JapanTime 073013003
Rene Wadlow brief biography of Garry Davis (excellent): G Davis R Wadlow 073113004
Athena Davis describes her Dad, Garry Davis: G Davis Athena 080113005
In sum, I think these assorted commentaries give a fair description of why Garry Davis merited such attention at his death.
FIRE AND FURY
Coincidentally, just days after hearing of Garry Davis’ death, we were visiting our friend Annelee Woodstrom at her home in rural Ada, MN.
Annelee grew up in Hitler’s Germany, just 18 years old when Germany surrendered in May, 1945. At least twice, at Regensburg, and later at Munich, she was far too close to being under some of those bombs being dropped by the Allies, basically the British RAF and the American Army Air Force.
Annelee has a unique perspective on Germany of Hitlers day, and has written successfully of her experience as a non-Nazi German in WWII. Her book, War Child, is still available.
On our recent visit, Annelee gave me a book, “The Allied Bombing of Germany 1942-45, FIRE and FURY” by Randall Hansen.
The book grabbed me, and I read it all during our visit. I highly recommend it.
Garry Davis dropped some of the bombs, and the conflict between leaders about whether to area or strategic bomb makes for compelling reading.
Garry Davis went from bomber pilot to passionate advocate for a system which would at minimum, lessen the probability of war.
The cast of characters who made the decisions about dropping bombs in WWII was a short one, with few names, few readily recognized: names like Harris, Portal, Spaatz, Eaker, Speer, Goring….
Take the time to read the obituaries about Garry Davis and then read the book about the war in which he initially enthusiastically participated.
Then assess where you are, personally, on the issue of War and Peace, and why….
NOTE: I was one of those who had an opportunity to preview the work-in-progress full length film of Garry Davis’ life in January. What I wrote then is here. Subsequent to that blog, Garry Davis sent this, G Davis email 010713006, the first and only correspondence I ever received from him.
Special Note from Arthur Kanegis, producer of in-progress film about Garry Davis:
Our short film about Garry won Best Global Documentary in the New York International Film Festival. You can watch it on the left side here. However the full documentary cannot be released publicly until we’ve raised enough money to purchase rights to the historic newsclips, finish the on-line edit and hold our grand première. Also you can read Garry’s book by the same name here.
Now is a key time for you to join in and make a difference – we need funders, volunteers and people in the industry to join in with finishing the production, distribution and marketing. If you are considering a large donation, email me with your agreement to keep the movie and the password confidential and I may be able to let you have a private online preview.
Click here to make a donation now. Thank you for making a donation to Garry’s favorite charity case – humanity!