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反法西斯战争胜利:为什么美国没有庆祝呢?

2015-09-06    来源:21英语    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

反法西斯战争胜利:为什么美国没有庆祝呢?

Subdued celebrations in US

当我们举国纪念反法西斯战争胜利70周年的时候,大洋彼岸的美国却显得异常平静,没有任何声势浩大的纪念活动,甚至都没有全国性的公休假。而给美国人民带来痛苦回忆的越南战争却时常被纪念。这其中包含了政治、历史等各种因素。

To mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender, China is preparing a grand spectacle, complete with a military parade. Thirty foreign dignitaries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, are expected to attend.
为了庆祝反法西斯战争胜利70周年,中国正在准备一场规模宏大的纪念活动,包括阅兵仪式。俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔•普京(Vladimir Putin)在内的30位外国政要将出席活动。

But across the Pacific, in the United States, the celebrations are a little more muted.
不过,太平洋彼岸的美国似乎没有什么要大规模庆祝的迹象。

The Japanese surrender ended one of the bloodiest wars in American history, second only to the American Civil War. Over 16 million American service members entered World War II, and 291,557 died on the battlefield. They became known as the US’ “greatest generation”.
日本的投降结束了美国历史上仅次于内战的第二血腥的战争。超过160万的美国服役人员投入了二战,其中291,557人在战场上牺牲。而他们也被誉为美国“最伟大的一代”。

But the United States has struggled to memorialize the conflict in the 70 years since. Later wars, like the ones in Vietnam and the Korean Peninsula, received memorials years before World War II did. Only in 2004 did the US erect a World War II monument, alongside the other two war memorials.
不过自那以后的70年里,关于是否庆祝这场战争的胜利,美国一直很矛盾。对二战后的战争,如越南战争和朝鲜战争,美国都早就树立了纪念碑。而直到2004年,二战纪念碑才在那两块碑旁边竖起。

And don’t expect any days off to commemorate World War II, either. There are federal holidays tied to the Civil War and World War I, but none for the US’ victory in 1945. Only Rhode Island celebrates the Japanese defeat with a statewide holiday.
在美国,更别指望能放一天假来纪念二战了。有些联邦假日纪念内战和一战,不过没有一个和1945年美国二战胜利相关。全国仅有罗德岛州有庆祝日本投降的假日。

A modest airshow did grace the skies over Washington DC this May, for the 70th anniversary of the Nazi defeat. And American newspapers are certainly noting the seven decades since Japan’s fall. But why is US’ “greatest generation” so poorly commemorated?
今年五月,华盛顿特区举办过一场小规模的飞机特技表演来纪念战胜纳粹70周年。美国报刊也报道过日本战败70周年。不过纪念美国“最伟大的一代”的活动为何少得可怜?

There is no simple answer, only a tangle of history and politics, honor and sorrow. G. Kurt Piehler, director of the Institute on World War II, believes part of the reason lies with the veterans themselves.
个中原因理不清道不完,交杂着复杂的历史、政治的因素,有荣誉也有悲恸。二战研究会主任G•库尔特•皮勒(G. Kurt Piehler)认为部分原因在老兵自己。

World War II veterans “wanted to get on with their lives”, Piehler wrote in an article for The Daily Beast. “They tended to avoid monuments and statues, choosing instead to commemorate the war with utilitarian structures such as parks, highways, community buildings, stadiums, and hospitals.”
皮勒在给美国新闻评论网“每日野兽”的文章中写道:二战老兵“想继续正常的生活”。“他们不想要什么纪念碑、纪念雕塑,更愿意用有实用价值的建筑如公园、公路、社区建筑、体育馆、医院等来纪念战争。”

Holidays and memorials also act as sources of unity and healing – which might explain why a national monument was built relatively quickly for the controversial Vietnam War, and not for World War II.
假日和纪念碑象征着团结和治愈,这也解释了为什么有争议的越南战争比二战更早有国家纪念碑。

While World War II ended in triumph and pride for the US, the Vietnam War ended in stalemate and protest. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial created a place for Americans to reunite after the strife.
美国载着胜利和荣誉结束二战,而越南战争的结束带给美国的则是困境和抗议。越南战争退伍军人纪念碑带给了美国冲突之后再团结的契机。

By contrast, American involvement in World War II was stamped by a strong sense of righteousness. The US felt dragged into the war by Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. And Americans’ moral outrage slowly grew when they realized the extent of Nazi persecution.
相比之下,美国卷入二战则被贴上了强烈的正义标签。日本突袭珍珠港将美国拖入了战争。在意识到纳粹侵入不断加剧后,美国人的道德正义感也逐渐觉醒。

The US still clings to that self-image, of fighting for freedom against persecution, for democracy against fascism. But showcasing that victory ran contrary to another American value: aesthetic simplicity.
美国始终将自己定义为捍卫自由,抵制侵略,为了民主反抗法西斯主义的形象。而展示胜利违背了美国另一种价值观——极简的美。

Hitler had built gigantic monuments to trumpet his power. Americans would celebrate theirs with ticker tape parades, and one very iconic kiss in Times Square.
希特勒建了巨大的纪念碑展示他至高的权力。美国人则用纸带纷飞的游行和时代广场上传奇一吻来庆祝他们的胜利。

There was also the matter of delicacy to consider. For instance, Rhode Island chose to call its holiday “Victory Day”, rather than “Victory over Japan Day”, to avoid souring relations with Japan and inciting anti-Japanese racism.
当然政治敏感性也是必须考虑的。比如,罗德岛州的纪念节日取名为“胜利日”而非“战胜日本纪念日”,这是为了不让美日关系变得微妙以及避免“煽动反日情绪”。

After all, remembering the past also means defining the future.
毕竟,纪念过去也是为了更好地面向未来。



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