I enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1968. Four days after taking my last final exam at City College (CCNY) I began my military service on January 29, 1968, one day before the beginning of the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam. How’s that for timing? During training you had some sense of the war, but it was still far away. When orders came down I was given a choice of assignments in either Korea or Greenland. Greenland would have been the safer and smarter choice, but I guess that I was not that smart.
You were expecting a monster with a single eye in the center of its forehead? Not likely. This cyclops is the British freighter “SS Cyclops” launched in 1906 and torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-123 off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1942. Do not confuse this cyclops with the USS Cyclops which was lost at sea in 1918.
You walk into an antique shop and what do you see? You see perhaps thousands of items worthy of being called antiques, and you look for that one, special item that simply “calls” to you. So you just have to take it home. Perhaps you go to an animal shelter looking for a pet, and among all of the possibilities there is one special dog or cat. You may not even be able to explain your choice because the selection moves an unconscious part of your brain. So it is with us at DPI when we find a photograph that moves us and separates itself from the thousands that we review weekly. In this blog we present “We’ll Meet Again“. There is no information given to us as to the location or date of this image. Yet within every image there are clues no matter how subtle they may be. We would argue that this photo of a woman at the town well pump was taken in Europe c.1946. Ireland, France, England or maybe none of these countries.
The title we gave to the photo is because to us it is a visual representation of the famous World War II song. We have heard this 1939 song by Vera Lynn many times without taking the time to understand its relevance. This photo taken at a town well pump symbolizes the lyrics in the song.
We have discussed this issue several times in the past. Wall’s don’t work. From the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall people have been able to pass through, under, over or around walls if they have been determined enough. Three thousand years ago and throughout much of antiquity the siege tower has been employed on the battlefield as the way to scale a wall. The film Kingdom of Heaven (2005) has been acclaimed as historically accurate. This film recreated the siege of Jerusalem by Saladin and his army in 1187 A. D. near the end of the film. Siege Towers are used to scale the walls although the outcome of the battle between the Crusaders and Saladin’s army turns on the use of trebuchets and vastly outnumbered Crusaders defenders.
As I view DPI’s “Border Wall Construction” (2019) taken by David Barak, I cannot help but wonder what the world reaction would be if Central Americans began building siege towers on the southern side of the wall. Seems plausible as we are not talking about building pyramids out of massive stones hauled from a quarry hundreds of miles away through the desert. Rather they could be assembled from wood brought from the interior. Can you imagine the reaction to seeing siege towers under construction? The propaganda value would be immense. The towers would not have to used to scale the wall, rather their mere presence would send an incredible message to the rest of the world. This is one message that I would never want to see. But our immigration policies become more bizarre by the day. This is not the America that I went to serve in the military. Do you see what is happening? The screws are being tightened from refugees fleeing crime, death and natural disasters to potentially legal immigrants who are not deemed to be welcomed. The Wall Street Journal (9/12/19) reported on immigration in Japan with respect to foreign workers. Foreign workers can only live in Japan if they are seen as necessary to help the economy for a relatively short period. They cannot enter Japan with their families. In addition they are drilled in Japanese customs and language. They are given only one opportunity to pass an exam at the end of their training. Failure means a return to their home country. For hundreds of years Japan has had a most restrictive immigration policy. Is this where we are heading in the U. S.?
If you accept restrictions on what you always assumed were your freedoms they will slowly be taken away. This is how it is done. Slowly, very slowly until one day you wake up and realize that it is too late.
Approximately 15 miles southwest of Montpellier, France along the Mediterranean coast is Sete. The scene, “Sete, France (1968)“, screams French fishing village, and is easily identifiable as such as would be a photo of the Eiffel Tower. An invisible, diagonal line draws attention to the interaction between the dock worker on the left of the photo and the two men on the right. A classic photo in any conversation. The fact that these men are seen in primarily silhouette adds to the mystery of the scene.
A view of Fresno, California as victim of hard times during the Great Depression. These images were taken in February 1986. You have to wonder if the phone line at the “Cafe” is still working. See the collection at “Fresno“. Selling “tubs” (sic) for $1.00 at the gas station may have contributed to its downfall.