Americans like to think of D-Day as a splendid battle which, while tough, prefigured our inevitable sweep to victory over Germany. How it came to be that most of the German army was elsewhere, or where the slave laborers who built the Germans’ “Atlantic Wall” came from are petty distractions.
So it comes as no surprise that Joseph Stalin is becoming unwelcome at a Virginia war memorial, reminding us that we didn’t beat Hitler all by our lonesome.
Bedford Virginia’s National D-Day Memorial is a vast crop circle of memorials,
with hideous arches,
and landing beach recreations.
And statues. There is an Eisenhower statue in its own “Tuscon folly” , but somehow it’s not controversial that the father of Reyonlds Wrap gets to slap his name on the garden.
Among busts of famed war leaders Stalin makes the cut, and the planners have mumbled something about the Russians fighting over yonder contributing to the D-Day victory.
The creators are making an effort, possibly unique in American public recollection of the war, at remembering the Soviet people’s epic sacrifice in defeating fascism. No doubt Stalin was guilty of many crimes, but he’s hardly the only problem with the proposed memorial if we are going to get fussy.
Perhaps the trouble stems from the monument’s defference to “great man” history
Why is Harry Truman there? He wasn’t even Vice President at the time of the landing
A belated salute to the Washington Post’s Philip Kennicott, who July 4th shared with readers his meditations on America and the world’s obsession with replicating homes of the great and the good, or at least George Washington.
Mount Vernon, soon to host another superfluous “Presidential Library,” holds first place in the nation’s architectural imagination, or lack thereof. Kennicott spotlights the many sad recreations of the Big House, and Lydia Mattice Brandt’s research into America’s mysterious practice of making foreigners and school children troop through replicas at half a dozen World’s Fairs and exhibitions.
We Might Be Giants
Current star practitioner of this architectural ghost walking is Alan Greenberg, whose accomplishments include a toy house Mount Vernon for future Chief Executives with excess family cash, and a “flagship” store for the always strenuously patriotic Tommy Hilfiger.
Having already incorporated Truman and Kennedy into the conservative pantheon, reactionaries are now critiquing Barack Obama for being just not FDR-ish enough
Portly torture enthusiast, former Bush speech writer and stain on the Washington Post op/ed page Mark Theeson is out with an exciting new line of pretend argument: that unless Obama mans up and fully enjoys fighting both depression and war he’ll end up a spent husk like Lyndon Johnson.
For purposes of lamenting Obama’s failure to use his oratorical powers in service of hustling the East, Thiessen assumes the guise of someone excited about expansive federal government, saddened by the stunting of LBJ’s Great Society.
A stance not often seen in the folds of the American Enterprise Institute, where the creator of wistful love notes to safely dead Democrats lies.