Time Creates Distance

I saw a fantastic production of South Pacific on Broadway yesterday.  Although I’m familiar with much of the music from South Pacific, it’s my first time seeing it performed.  The acting was lively with a convincing lead, the storyline is very good, and the music was thoroughly enjoyable.

It was also interesting to realize that this was produced during a time when the vocabularity and details of military life were a common part of the national knowledge base.  Seeing a production set in the armed services was not like peering into a foreign world, but rather like resurrecting a shared memory.  This, from the closing screen, stuck with me:

They will live a long time, these men of the South Pacific.  They had an American quality.  They, like their victories, will be remembered as long as our generation lives.  After that, like the men of the Confederacy, they will become strangers.  Longer and longer shadows will obscure them, until their Guadalcanal sounds distant on the ear like Shiloh and Valley Forge.

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