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When I was little and asked my mom what Vietnam was (this was during the war), she gave me the emotional (but unhelpful) answer, "I hope they remove that country from the face of the earth!" So for years I went around with the mental image of a Vietnam-shaped piece cut out of the planet. That's what I thought she meant should be done with it!
When I ws told about Pearl Harbor and the war against Germany and Japan I got the whole idea of the war totally wrong. I remember asking my dad why we went to war with Japan and he told me it was because they hurt us. I said, "Oh yeah cuz their eyes are funny huh?" My dad laughed a little and told me no. He told me about the allience made between Germany and Japan and how they were trying to hurt as many people as they could and I said, "So the German people have funny eyes too?" My dad laughed a little bit this time and still tryed to explain it to me. I dont know how but by the end of the talk I had with him I thought that the Jews were the ones with funny eyes and thats why we went to war...weird huh?
When I was a little boy, my grandma went to Germany. She, of course, brought back some gifts and stuff. I liked them so much that I thought Germany was a cool country and it hasn't beed in any wars because it's so good. :)
I can remember when I was about 5, I thought the Gulf War was being fought in the Gulf of Mexico! I think I could have sworn that was also being fought in China. Hmmm...
We had a cannonball in our back garden (I had a strange upbringing), and my brother told me it was the very one that had destroyed the castle at Scarborough, where we would go on holiday each summer. Later, it transpired this was a lie - it came instead from a museum my mum used to run in Dundee, and dates probably from the nineteenth century.
During the Vietnam war, I had this belief that it could be brought to an end so simply. All the President had to do was stand up on a pedestal in the middle of the front line and just wave his hands and tell them to stop fighting. It would be over just like that.
I was raised in the deep South. I assumed that the South won the Civil War. It was presented to us as a glorious fight and all the Civil War battles that we enacted as little boys featured glorious Confederates vrs. the cowardly yankees. When I was ten, my cousins from Wisconsin were visiting and made me look up The Civil War in The World Book. Finding out the actual outcome, I was devistated.
I thought that wars had to last four years... just like high school and college.
I used to believe that all wars lasted 4 years!
I sepnt a lot of my childhood growing up in the middle east with my Father who was in the armed forces there.
One day we were out in the desert with some of his friends when they discovered an unexploded mortar bomb.
I wanted to rush over and play with it, and my Dad couldn't understand why - until I explained to him that I wasn't afraid of 'WATER bombs...'.
When I was much younger (1970's) I was shocked when I saw Germans participating in an international game show (It's a Knockout for the UK readers) after all, weren't we at war with them?
My little brother is severly misinformed about World War II. First of all he thinks everyone hates the Germans and that we're still at war with them. He also thinks we (US) killed Hitler. And he thinks everyone except Americans are communists. I can only guess that he's somehow mixed up things he's heard on TV or in school because he leanred nothing of that sort in our house.
I used to believe that the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) club was actually a club for Very Fat Women. My older brother encouraged me in this belief.
I used to be convinced that the world was about to end in a nuclear war. I used to make my mum and dad kiss my hand every night before I went to bed so that I would still have their last kiss on me when I died.
I used to think wars started when a sergeant from one country socked a sergeant from another country.
When I was a kid, I thought that Sectarian violence in Northern Ireland was actually Septarian Violence. I could Never Understand why there was so much trouble between 70 year olds!
I used to think all wars lasted only 4 years, like college or something.
As a very young child I used to believe that the Army, Air force and Navy all fought each other for a living. One day while visiting an Air Force base, I was shocked to see a lady wearing fatigues, I assumed she was in the Army, and I expected some of the Airmen wearing blue to attack her.
After the Gulf War, I thought that wars were regularly occuring events, like the Olympics or something. I remember asking my mom, "When is the next war?" like it was already planned out.
I used to believe that wars were a thing of the distant barbarian past until I was about 8 and came to realize that the Vietnam war had just ended