Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Last week's funeral for German war dead. Unlike our hidden funerals, full pomp and ceremony on national TV.

The carnage continues in Afghanistan and Iraq. One of the casualties in Afghanistan were German soldiers. They were buried in a great ceremony last week. Unlike the American funerals which are kept off the front pages and out of the general populace's eyes.

The Germans have a great deal of experience with military funerals and many soldiers' deaths. We barely had any in WWI, the Germans had a great number of lives literally blasted away just like the Brits and French. This was certainly true in WWII, also.
Americans mocking living people who survived WWI and WWII and lost many loved ones as "surrender monkeys," and so on, is just another sign of how juvenile and ill mannered we have become thanks to more than a century of being sheltered from the true horror of war.

I found the German pictures of their funerals most interesting because so very little has changed in the last 200 years.
The neutral black/red/gold post WWII national flag, deliberately designed to be utterly uninspiring, has regained the Imperial Eagle first seen on the war shield of Emperor Frederick I of Germany back in 1200 AD.
From the Imperial College of Heraldry, the Coat of Arms of the Holy Roman Empire.
Well, well, well, isn't that the Holy Roman Imperial coat of arms draped upon those coffins in Germany? These symbols come back again and again. For once, there was no eagle defiant! When Frederick II, Wonder of the World, struggled for power with the Popes, losing in the end in 1250, his banner had the spread eagle and when he went down along with all his Hohenstaufen sons, legal and bastard, the coat of arms died with him.

When Prussia reunified Germany for the first time after the interregum, the namesake of the earlier incarnation, Frederick the Great of Prussia, again, took up the old coat of arms and defiantly replanted it on German soil.
The Imperial and Royal Coat of Arms of HI&RH Prinz Karl Friedrich von Deutschland, Herzog von Swabia, de jure Kaiser Charles VIII of Germany, Or a double-headed eagle displayed sable armed, membred, beaked and haloed Or, langued gules ( Holy Roman Empire )charged on the breast with an inescutcheon Or an eagle displayed sable, armed, membred and langued gules, beaked and haloed Or,( Kingdom of Germany )charged on the breast with an inescutcheon Or there on three lions passant inpale sable armed and langued gules ( Duchy of Swabia ).
One on top of the other, the various incarnations of eaglehood and at its core lies the ancient emblem in its full blood red fury.

The American eagle harkens to all this history. This is why Benjamin Franklin was not happy about the choice. The Founding Fathers tried to make the eagle less cold and dark by lightening it up, using the bald eagle with its white head and having it carry olive branches in one claw. From Great Seal.com
(Franklin's letter concerning eagles rampant) "For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

"With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country . . .

"I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
Oh, do I know turkeys! Wild turkeys, bronze turkeys, raised them, interacted with them.

They are slow to boil but the red invades the bald head until it is bright blood red, the chest grows tremendously with air inhaled, the head cocks back, the tail spreads and then the turkey will literally fling himself upon humans, cars, lawn mowers and even old shoes. Not gobbling, that is for other turkeys, no, it is the "Piff piff!" of snorts of rage. A red stripe can create this monster bird. A red flag waving. Yes, turkeys are most appropriate, especially for the crew running America today. They are not eagles that lust for battle, they are barely turkeys.

I have seen fiercer Chickadees.

The Germans in particular have created mythos/impulses that are extremely warlike, the music, the culture. Wagner, anyone? Think you can resist his allure? I grew up on Wagner. I have fought in recreations of medieval battles. I know the ersatz romantic feeling of bloodlust. Sword in hand, in full steel armor, standing on a hill, contemplating the developing fight, charging into the fray, joyously.

I have ancestors who invaded England. And we still got kicked out (and I suppose the feeling was "good riddance", no?)

A good 500 years, thrashing around, killing each other, being cruel to the natural residents of that fair isle....we were actually grateful to find relative peace in America in between our wars and insurrections and invasions on this continent.

Back to Germany: America, anxious to run an empire without dying in battle, seeks to rearm Germany, and begs Germany to reunite Europe into one entity, holy or not. And we seek to rearm another dangerous foe, Japan! Like Germany, religion and ancient lineages converge to make a dangerous mix.

What saved us in WWII was the fact we didn't goose step. The co-ordinated crump of thousands of steel clad heels striking the cobblestones in unison as thousands march together, stiff legged, a uniquely German achievement I hope we never have to witness again. We slouched into Europe and explained to everyone, we didn't want to fight all that much, we wanted to finish our business and go home.

Yet here we are, fighting foes in Iraq and Afghanistan who want us gone and want our militarism and God Bless Americanism and screaming eagles and shock and awe gone. Period. We can't stomach the bloody mess needed to goose step around the planet waving imperial flags!

Thank god...I hope.

From the Albany Times Union:
Army Specialist Stephen Z. Madison, 23, a native of Corinth, was found dead in his home at Fort Riley, Kansas, late last week. Madison was recovering from burns he suffered while serving in Iraq last fall.

Although he was still under treatment for his burns, he was not hospitalized at the time of his death, his father, Stephen R. Madison said today. Stephen Madison's wife, Mary, found her husband unconscious in their home on the army base.

During his second deployment to Iraq, Madison was scalded while taking a shower, suffering severe burns to his left arm and torso. His father said he was scheduled for another operation to his left arm this summer to give him better mobility.

Madison enlisted in January 2001, a "spur of the moment thing'' that was a surprise to his family, his father said. He was assigned to the 82nd Medical Company and repaired Black Hawk helicopters, his father said.
Suicide. One of many, alas. A normal human. He thought, perhaps, the gory glory of the eagle rampant would be romatic.

It is a deadly thing, this bloody bird. It rips millions with its beak and feels no mercy, no love. It just wants to be fed.

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