What a fine day this has been.
We had guests over to share baby back ribs off the coals and a sitdown to watch the directors cut of Independence Day.
The movie was carried on the Encore channel. They are having a big Memorial Day event and, after the last of the ID credits, rolled one of their extended commercials (I guess it might better be called a trailer) for it.
Well, near the end of the segment the narrator was paying respect to the men and women who over the years have done the muddy, cold, and bloody to preserve our freedoms. As he is speaking, you watch a montage of stills of U.S. servicemen and women from across the wars. Soldiers in Africa. Pilots in their Mae Wests standing in front of a Hellcat. Marines running up a beach. Sailors anxiously scanning the skies from behind the sights of their Bofors guns.
And a tired, unshaven Wermacht machine gunner looking into the camera from beneath his frost covered coal-scuttle helmet, MG-42 hitched over his shoulder. That photo may have been originally published in Signal, the German Army magazine, and most likely taken on the Russian Front.
Now to be fair, it was a tight shot and most folks probably won't look past the exhaustion and pain on the man's face. It is a striking photograph. And the chances that the person who put together the trailer is historically inclined are slight. This is not the picture in question, but it could have come off the same roll.