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(USA Today) Hero Parents of kid who loves "Band of Brothers" throw theme birthday party with WWII costumes, music and a visit from real WWII veterans. Outraged parents flood paper with e-mail; outraged kids wish their parents were that cool   ( divider line
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32293 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Feb 2007 at 6:43 PM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

334 Comments     (+0 »)

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2007-02-15 11:18:18 PM  
There was a time when parents would smack their boys if they weren't into war games and such.

/get off my lawn
2007-02-15 11:27:05 PM  
"Yet, the boy's eyes were all fixed on the 82-year-old Clarence "Clancy" Lyall, a highly decorated paratrooper (with 25 decorations and citations) and a veteran of World II, Korea and Vietnam. Lyall jumped into Normandy with the 101st and fought in most of the battles portrayed in the HBO series, including the Battle of the Bulge. He was wounded four times in combat, including a still-visible shrapnel scar on his head, which the boys couldn't stop staring at. (To the relief of the parents, Lyall declined to show them the bayonet scar on his stomach.)

Lyall has hundreds of jumps to his credit, including a rare record of four combat jumps. He told them how he had lied at 16 to enlist and had his 18th birthday in combat in Holland. (He was wounded the next day.) After World War II, he also served in Vietnam as an American adviser with the 8th French Parachute Assault Battalion at Dien Bien Phu, and narrowly escaped when the garrison surrendered.

Yet rather than asking about the gore of war, the boys seemed most interested in matters more relevant and important to the adolescent mind: how Lyall overcame fear. "When you did your jump into Normandy," Liam asked, "was it scary?"

2007-02-15 11:29:13 PM  
It's a strange day indeed when i find myself agreeing with TGOT ... but that was one helluva b-day party.
2007-02-15 11:30:22 PM  
Wonderful article

2007-02-15 11:31:25 PM  
Wii costumes and Wii veterans? Those are hardcore gamers.

2007-02-15 11:32:04 PM  
if it were an iraq war party, i can see people not wanting to attend. but come on, world war II? if your kids are going to learn about war (which they will at some point), why not that one?

and as far as the kids meeting the vets, that's about the best idea ever to show them the reality of conflict.
2007-02-15 11:43:23 PM  
Now THERE'S a LARP I would attend. This just goes to show that some parents can get outraged at literally ANYTHING. How dare their kids learn about history at a birthday party!
2007-02-15 11:46:22 PM  
That sounds like the best birthday party ever.
2007-02-15 11:55:19 PM  
I have a two-step plan for all those outraged parents:

1. Build a bridge.

2. Get the fark over it.
2007-02-15 11:55:54 PM  
This sounds like a cool way to encourage the kids' interest in history. The parents who wouldn't allow their kids to attend a World War II themed party certainly have the right to do so. However, if I were one of the parents organizing the party, I would have been deeply offended by this gesture. My grandfather flew B-29s in the Pacific Theater. I find nothing wrong with celebrating the history of WW II. As the article states, there are many wars worth fighting. Perhaps there are some that are not.

2007-02-15 11:58:32 PM  
Article = double plus good

I have to agree with most posters above; get your kids off of the nerfed playgrounds and STFU. At least they were asking the correct questions...if asking questions at all.

Like the article state, if we could get the rest of America to talk to these guys......
2007-02-16 12:03:54 AM  
I clipped this out to send to my dad.
2007-02-16 12:29:49 AM  
I find it sad and infuriating that there are people who do not really understand how things work. There are people in this world who do not like Americans, and they didn't like us long before the problems in Iraq. There are those who cannot be reasoned with, cannot be bargained with, and who will die trying to kill people in this country. Love for country, sacrifice and duty - to some these are just words, but to many of us it is a personal mantra that keeps people - just like the ones that wouldn't let their kids attend a WWII birthday party - able to say what they want, have freedom of choice, and pursue life,liberty and happiness - relatively worry free. What I find "deeply disturbing" is the attitude that many think they are "owed" something. They are owed nothing, it is earned.

/rant off
2007-02-16 12:46:07 AM  
ZoX: They are owed nothing, it is earned.

2007-02-16 7:54:52 AM  
That's really, really, really awesome.

Doubly awesome that an 8 year old kid is interested in history, instead of, say, WWE or whatever the hell Naruto is.

/Naruto ruins every YouTube search I do...
//WTF is it with people putting cartoons to Led Zeppelin music?
2007-02-17 6:48:35 PM  
Wish I had a theme party like that.
2007-02-17 6:49:49 PM  
I am outraged at the outrage from the outraged parents.

As usual it is the kids that put things in perspective. Not asking about gore and killing, but about things that most parents wouldn't even think of.
2007-02-17 6:51:44 PM  
I hope my kids are that cool.
2007-02-17 6:52:20 PM  
Catholicgauze: Wish I had a theme party like that.

Indeed. All I got was shiatty pizza at Chuck E. Cheese.

The complaining parents should be used to put on an impromptu reenactment of the St.Lo Massacre, farking pansies.
2007-02-17 6:53:09 PM  
Dude, everyone's missed the other cool part of this. The kid's dad is Tom Bowman!

/NPR nerd
2007-02-17 6:53:56 PM  
It's good everyone in the world has lost their mind.
2007-02-17 6:54:25 PM  
I remember having a pirate-themed party when I was 8. Maybe I should have one again when I turn 24.

/WWII-themed sounds awesome too.
2007-02-17 6:54:52 PM  
At least they didn't just cut corners and hire a Hitler impersonator.
2007-02-17 6:54:57 PM  
Walt_Jizzney: Like the article state, if we could get the rest of America to talk to these guys......

These guys are rapidly disppearing. For instance...not many of the WWII Tuskegee airmeen are still alive. My uncle being one of them.
2007-02-17 6:55:29 PM  
When i was that age i found myself choosing WWI and WWII documentaries over kids shows all the time
2007-02-17 6:55:36 PM  
What outraged parents are thinking:"OMG IF THEY THINK WAR IS COOL THEY WILL JOIN A WAR AND DIE!!!

What the kids are thinking:"These guys are awesome!"

What the Veterans are thinking:"War sucks,but I went in one anyway cause im cool like that"

What the dog is thinking:"Steak."

\got nuttin
2007-02-17 6:55:47 PM  
I loved Band of Brothers, one of the best mini-series ever.

And kudos to the parents of the kid for throwing him the WWII themed birthday and having the vets come. They won't be around forever, and we need to keep that living bit of history around with us for as long as we can.

/Lest we forget
2007-02-17 6:56:28 PM  
Excellent story and well-written article. I loved the statement that playing war games as a child doesn't mean you'll turn into a war criminal.

America...F*ck Yeah!
2007-02-17 6:57:03 PM  
They should have just went to WW Lazerz.
2007-02-17 6:57:07 PM  
Most people are pussies. Please don't complain to me.
2007-02-17 6:58:13 PM  
I have news for you. There are now enough "outraged" parents in the USA to ensure the country's doom.

All that it will take is a determined and well-equipped enemy.
2007-02-17 6:58:20 PM  
Kudos to both the kids & parents that threw the party. The other whiney biatch parents can STFU!
2007-02-17 6:58:59 PM  
Tonight I will drink one in honor of Clancy Lyall.
2007-02-17 6:59:00 PM  
Before the contards start whining: let the record reflect that the writer of TFA is on the left of the political spectrum.
2007-02-17 6:59:46 PM  
sounds like an awesome birthday party!
2007-02-17 6:59:55 PM  
"All that John Wayne stuff is a lot of bull," Lyall said. "I don't like war. I hate it. No combat soldier likes war."

Repeat often.
2007-02-17 6:59:57 PM  
I hope these kids become Congressmen.
2007-02-17 7:00:07 PM  
What this country needs is a good method to quickly and completely remove sand from the viginas of people who are reguarly outraged by things. It should probably contain vinegar or something.
2007-02-17 7:00:26 PM  
That's awesome. +1 for everyone involved.
2007-02-17 7:00:46 PM  
The delicious irony is that the freedom anti-war pacifists have to protest and declare their country to be the source of all evil in the world was originally gained through force of arms.
2007-02-17 7:01:09 PM  
Outraged parents otherwise known as Democrats.
2007-02-17 7:01:13 PM  
"if your kids are going to learn about war (which they will at some point), why not that one?"

Indeed, that is when Prescott Bush worked for the other side.
/apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
2007-02-17 7:01:50 PM  
LocalCynic: 'Before the contards start whining: let the record reflect that the writer of TFA is on the left of the political spectrum.'

.... and thats all that matters, right?

oh, and by the way, the 'contards' would whine about this ... why?
2007-02-17 7:02:07 PM  
Heaven forbid parents would have a birthday party now-a-days that didn't include limos and gift bags.
2007-02-17 7:02:09 PM  
-I'm anti-war and all that too, but that was a good and instructive story right there. Not that it justifies every war a politician decides to throw our brave young men/women into; THAT'S a whole different deal. Indeed, the horrors of war reinforce the fact that the soldiers doing their duty are trusting the civilian leadership not to squander their lives needlessly. (like they're doing right now) I salute all the veterans who served honorably in defense of this country...
2007-02-17 7:03:28 PM  
"Here's a novel idea: Say no. Tell him that war is sad and horrible and should never be a cause for celebration."

Here's a novel idea: you can raise your children to be pussies that are ignorant of history and the knowledge that some things are worth fighting for.

If everyone showed as much interest in learning about history as these kids, maybe we'd live in a better world today.
2007-02-17 7:03:32 PM  
I'd like to personally slap, very hard, every single parent who kept their kid from going or had the gall to write some kind of statement of outrage.

The people who walked straight into the maw of humanity's darkest hours are going to disappear from living memory in my lifetime. I can't think of a more aboslutely precious link to history than them.
2007-02-17 7:03:33 PM  
Puts things in perspective.
2007-02-17 7:03:57 PM  
I've never had a cool birthday party like that.....Oh well...
2007-02-17 7:03:59 PM  
the_gospel_of_thomas: .... and thats all that matters, right?

No, it's not. What these men did for us transcends political boundaries.

oh, and by the way, the 'contards' would whine about this ... why?

I dunno, ask JQPublic.
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