Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WINSTON CHURCHILL VISITS MY MOM'S HOME TOWN OF LIVORNO, ITALY ON AUGUST 19, 1944!

John Nolan may find this fascinating. I certainly do. I wish my mom and dad were still alive because they would never have seen this footage or known that it still existed (now on the internet!).

My dad would have been in the crowd of American soldiers when Churchill came to Livorno and certainly my mom would have been nearby.

The most fascinating part of this is when Churchill boards a boat and takes a harbor view of the destruction of Livorno. It starts at minute 4:25. My mom had told me in descriptive terms what that her city had been completely destroyed but I had never seen photos let alone moving pictures of it. I found this video by accident about two years ago. There is another video showing Livorno being bombed from the bomb bay of an air craft and I am certain that it was in that bombing that my mother's apartment building took a direct hit and was completely destroyed killing all who had taken refuge in its basement. My mom and her family were in another part of the city at the time and were spared. My mom would have been in her 20's at the time.

This was August 19, 1944 and my parents would have been married, December 1, 1945 in Livorno:

21 comments:

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald

Thank God your mother survived the bombing. The Allies destroyed Caen, killing many French civilians, which was not justified either strategically or tactically.

After the war we executed Germans and Japanese for 'war crimes' which we ourselves were equally guilty of - but that is 'victors' justice'

I'm glad that Trump has returned Churchill's bust to the Oval Office. WSC had great flaws, but he realized in 1941 that no deal with Hitler was possible since his promises were worthless. In December that year Pearl Harbor was attacked. On hearing the news WSC claimed that he went to bed content for the first time in the war.

Victory in WW2 bankrupted Britain and ushered in the Pax Americana. It has been enormously successful in seeing off Soviet communism but challenges remain and it is up to us to support the only remaining Superpower by making a military contribution which reflects national economies. Trump is exactly right on that.

Meanwhile, how have we survived over 70 years without a nuclear war? The answer must surely be 'God bless America'. The USA is undoubtedly England's greatest legacy to civilization, along with Shakespeare.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Winston Churchill was an amazing man and a larger than life figure, one of my personal heros. I suspect he wouldn't have much good to say about Pope Francis.

I am also reading a book of Winston's exploits during the Boer War and cannot imagine a coward like Obama facing fire and doing what young Sir Winston did.

rcg said...

My teacher assigned our elementary grade class to write an article on a famous leaders and I drew Winston Churchill. I didn't know much about him and asked my grandfather, somewhat resentfully, why I needed to learn anything about this Churchill person. Pappy replied, with a characteristic summation, "so you don't have to learn to goose-step".

Dialogue said...

Post-Churchill Britain lost its way. From tactical mistakes like allowing uncontrolled immigration and joining the Common Market, to symbolic mistakes like decimalizing the coinage and mobilizing the police, Britain since 1965 has followed a path of national--in the philosophical sense of the word--decline. Thatcher was fierce and restored prosperity, but national spirit is not a commodity.

Anonymous said...

Obama withstood withering fire for the eight years of his presidency. He did so with patience, dignity, and wisdom. Racism, obstructionism, birtherism, lies ("alternative" facts) about his place of birth, his religion, his adherence to the Constitution, etc.

Obama was no coward, and only a coward would make such scurrilous accusations.

TJM said...

Anonymous at 4:30,

Obama is the exact opposite of the person you just described. He was petty, mean-spirited, narcissistic, and not too bright. I recall when he mentioned that Austrians spoke "Austrian." I also recall that when the Republicans met with him to discuss healthcare reform, he said "I Won" and broke off talks. Quite the compromiser. I also remember such endearing, benign comments such as referring to Republicans as the "enemy" (although he refrained from referring to Islamic terrorists in such terms), and that you need to "bring a gun to a fight, if they bring a knife," and you need to "get in the opposition's faces." He's also a sneak. I forgot that. Hours before Trump took office he authorized transferring $200 million to the Palestinians. You live in fairy land.

Anonymous said...

TJM - Only petty jealousy drives someone to say Obama is "not too bright." And only in your strange view are graduates of Columbia and Harvard "not too bright."

TJM said...

Anonymous at 7:04 (aka Kavanaugh), I am hardly jealous of the least successful president in the last 100 years. In a few days, Trump has accomplished more for the American people than that nitwit did in 8 years. FYI, I have fired Harvard Law grads for incompetence and their inability to relate to clients. Sounds like someone we know! You never addressed or refuted your little wooden god's "benign" statements I cited. Why? Because you can't.

Anonymous said...

Father
I know you're struggling with this papacy like the rest of us. But perhaps these stories don't help. Imagine stories on Hitler stressing how, although, yes, he does invade other coubtries, and persecute others for their religious beliefs, hey, he loves his dog, and classical music, so perhaps we should alpreciate this othef side to him too.
I am so close to despair with this man who is clearly mad or bad or both.

Dialogue said...

Anonymous,

First of all, Father McDonald is "bound by a special obligation to show reverence and obedience to the Supreme Pontiff", which means he must always look for the bright side. Besides, the obvious damage the Holy Father is doing to the theological and liturgical legacies of his two most recent predecessors is really not something a priest can do anything about anyway.

Gene said...

Winston Churchill was the greatest man of the 20th century hands down.

Dialogue said...

Winston Churchill was the second greatest man of the 20th century, after Frank Sinatra.

Dialogue said...

John Wayne is third.

rcg said...

Anon at 4:30, I am not sure how your response is relevant to this thread unless you are simply trolling.

It may be Trump's greatest asset that he forces us to watch him closely. We need to rid ourselves of the cult of personality that shades the proper relationship of a free republic with its leaders.

Anonymous said...

TJM - I don't refute because I choose not to.

Now, be gone, before someone drops a house on you...

TJM said...

Anonymous (Kavanaugh),

You can't because facts and logic are not your strong suit. Begone, Satan

Anonymous said...

TJM - I can, but I choose not to.

And that, among other things, drives you to distraction.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh also chose not to answer a direct question from another blogger as to whether he believed in the literal bodily resurrection of Christ and the Real Presence. Kavanaugh said that such questions are "a trap." That is like a physician saying that asking if he believes in the circulation of the blood is a trap.LOL! One cannot really take Kavanaugh seriously, but he provides a great opportunity to educate others about unbelief and all of its subtle manifestations.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - I answered that question numerous times. You know this, but you continue to lie about it.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, you answered it way too late.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - I don't operate according to your timetable. I answered the question many, many times, yet you still repeat the lie.