Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Maizière Loves Company

As if the US hasn't done enough to dare all comers to observe Godwin's Law, none other than the German defense minister himself suggested last Wednesday in Washington that "the time is ripe" for a Veterans Day in Deutschland.

Gallivanting about North America (you know how they do), Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière offered the Canadians the Cologne-Bonn airport as a logistical center for military deployments (I had no idea that the Canucks were involved in the rendition supply chain of command (extraordinary, indeed)); and while at Holloman AFB in New Mexico, he was able to imagine, out-loud, contributing more to Euro missile defense (hey, had it not been for Nazi rocket scientists, Kamikazes 'd today be dive-bombing what's left of the Rust Belt, sure as ye live and breathe); and he capped it all off with a visit to Harvard, where he declared that "[the Germans] should no longer fear their own strength as a guiding principal" and "the Bundeswehr can fight and lead". You gotta love that "führen" was used in that sentence but, hell, how else you gonna lead?

Know what day he suggested for troop worship? Well, back in the day (as the brownies still like to say) they called it "Heldengedenktag" which was designated troop worship day from 1934 until - that's right, you guessed it - 1945. Of course they returned it to the original crying over our dead soldiers concept in '48, and in '52 moved it to a different day and included an invitation to reminisce civilian victims, as well.

But really. Veterans Day, Memorial Day. The important thing here is that with just the right cooperation and encouragement and a little Yankee Doodle know-how, the Germans are finally ready to look forward, not backward.

Except for that one day.

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