6-17-75: Bunker Hill Day. I have just finished gobbling up Season 3 of Turn, AMC’s ambitious retelling of the Revolutionary War (seen through the eyes of “Washington’s Spies.”) If you haven’t watched this fascinating show, the action in Massachusetts (Paul Revere, the Battles at Concord and Lexington, the Battle at Bunker Hill, etc.) are in the past. What we see is Washington fighting on a shoestring and a prayer . . . the outcome is ALWAYS in doubt. There is treachery everywhere. As season 3 ends with General Benedict Arnold’s defection to the British Army for less-than-noble-reasons, we get a peek at Washington’s new and shaky alliance with France. Without France’s help (sworn enemies of England), Washington and his rag-tag Army would not have won Our War of Independence.
Not too long ago many Americans excoriated France for not joining the “coalition” of countries willing to back our invasion of Iraq. We seem to forget that nations act in their own best interests, and that our best interests do not always align with theirs and vice-versa. The world, and the history of the world and its wars is complicated and nuanced. When I think about the history of humanity, it seems that War is somehow the common thread, and that all Wars are somehow related to events in the past, even hundreds of years later.
6-17-44: The war in Europe rages on. Allied forces move on from the D-Day beaches in Normandy; paratroopers and armored units move from the hedgerows to block the German advance. Fighting continues all across the Mediterranean. In the Pacific, Task Force 58, engaged in strikes against the Bonin Islands and the Marianas, steam to rendezvous west of Guam. Intelligence reports indicate the Imperial Japanese Navy is heading towards Saipan and Tinian. The ships begin to assemble into a massive battle line, in anticipation of the impending “Battle of the Philippine Sea” (6/19/44)
6-17-72: Watergate Day. If you are not old enough to remember this day, I urge you to google it and read about it.
6-17-XX: Steve’s birthday.