The War on the Waterbury Green

Yesterday afternoon I came across a soldier ready for combat, a sailor with a pretty woman in his arms, an Army nurse handling some X-rays, a woman standing amid torpedoes and singing.

These were some of the figures on light post flags on the Green in Waterbury, Connecticut, a city whose brass industry was vital to the Second World War effort. The city is among those featured in Ken Burns's documentary The War.

Walking around the Green in the late afternoon sunshine, I was struck by these vivid images. The characters seemed real. The action seemed immediate. The emotion seemed raw. I was caught between two times--my own and the years of World War II. Looking at the folks in these pictures, I wondered how many came home and how many were lost, how much love they brought with them, how aware they must have been of the very high personal price of war. The images made me aware of how glad I am to be here now.

Click here to see some of those flags. Click here for more about the documentary, courtesy of the Republican-American newspaper.