Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A War to Remember?

Until recently, I always found war re-enactors to be a bit...well, strange. They confounded my sense of living for the moment: why would you want to pretend to live through something horrible and traumatic from the past? After coming across artist Jim Naughten's moving portrait series of WWI and WWII re-enactors, I now feel I can relate a bit more sympathetically. These men and women step out of their daily lives to briefly become characters from a time long gone -- people who committed brave deeds and became a part of history in a tangible way. They give great attention to the details and nuances of costume and character. In a way, this is not so very different from what I do every day: it is the job of people who study and teach literature to keep the characters of the past alive. I guess I am more like a war re-enactor than I initially would have admitted!

And on the topic of fascinating characters {or real-life people with novel-worthy lives}, I was completely overwhelmed with pride and inspiration after watching the story of the WWII women fighter pilots {WASPS} on the national news last night. President Obama signed a bill to award them the gold medal of honor this week -- more than a decade after their service. It's about time!! I have officially decided that if I ever have a chance to participate in a WWII re-enactment, I will definitely be invoking the spirit of the classy, sassy dames from the U.S. Army Air Forces. See their amazing stories here.

1 comment:

ambika said...

Oh, the nurse makes me think of my Halloween costume!