It’s an Enigma…
My friend Jack was two weeks shy of his 20th birthday when he waded into the waters at Normandy. My friend Earnest was fighting in Italy as Mussolini made his final moves. And my dad’s troop ship sailed into Tokyo Bay while Japanese dignitaries were signing surrender documents on the U.S.S. Missouri.
All three men have passed now, so when I read a feature like “The Piece of Paper That Fooled Hitler” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12266109 I send a little shout out to them–wherever they are–because I know it would spark a great conversation. And I’m grateful for what they did. And I miss them.
The way the story-behind-the-story of World War II keeps unfolding 65-plus years after VE and VJ and Kilroy and Tojo is amazing. Until today, I’d never heard of the Bletchley Park brigade or the Enigma encoding device http://wn.com/enigma_machine.
When I couple what would have been a “high-tech” strategic solution for the Allies in its time with the “low-tech” but ultra-effective language solution of the Navajo Code Talkers, one of those “big questions” emerges.
Nearly 70 years from now, how will our grandchildren and theirs view our strategic efforts in dealing with the difficult times we–and our allies–are facing? Will they see proof that we used our brainpower and our people-power? What will astonish them? And when previously buried information comes forth, as it will, what stories will they share?
Will these days serve as an example of our generation’s best selves in action…or simply a declassified enigma?
Guess that’s up to us.
Photo: Public Domain