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Roses and Freedom

By Remy Benoit

   Roses mean so many, many things.

   Red ones mean love.

   Something said, "Subrosa" is to be kept confidential, thus the roses carved high on old conference room walls.

   England had its War of the Roses.

   The subject of Roses came to mind with all the talk of dictatorship, persecution, denial of rights, freedom.
   There is no country on the planet with a lily white past. Note how much flowers have become a part of our metaphorical speech.

   I believe that history is so, so important to us. It must be taught with veracity; no white washing, no cover-ups.

   Throughout history there have been those who were willing to put it all on the line for freedom. Many of those we call soldiers. Too often we forget them. We can change that if we really want to.

   I recall reading in Michener's, The Bridge at Andau, the words of a 17 year old Hungarian girl. With a Molotov cocktail in her hand, she went forward to a tank, saying, as I recall, "I have lived long enough." If you haven't read this small book with such huge heart, I wholeheartedly suggest that you do.  It is the heartbeat of the desire for freedom.

   There are few of us today who have accumulated a number of decades, who do not know the reference in "Jean has a long moustache."

   But how many of us know of that winter of Stalingrad, when the Subject Was Roses, The White Rose.

    What happened in Munich on February 22, 1943?

    It started at 9 AM. It finished at 1PM.

    What happened at 5PM and why should it matter to us?

    Because what happened in Germany could happen anywhere; could occur behind all kinds of facades and fronts that open doors to where we don't want to be.

    If hardship, cruelty and dictatorship, can come to the very Cradle of Civilization what medicine is there to prevent the outbreak of a plague that eats freedom?

   The only preventive is vigilance.

   With all due respect to Janis Joplin, freedom is not just another word for everything to lose; it is the world for all to gain.

   What is the story of The White Rose of Munich? The White Rose of Munich.

   Click, time travel, and remember we are all cultures susceptible to the bacteria of negligence, complacency, and taking for granteds.

   Just a history teacher caring, and Sharing.



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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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