"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Movies and War

Robert and I just finished watching all ten episodes of "The Pacific", a 2010 HBO special, which he downloaded from a server online. I have to say, while I understood that it wasn't about Vietnam, it was still very difficult to watch. My second marriage was to a Marine Vietnam Vet, so I've watched many films about war -- to be honest, some were not really by choice: "Saving Private Ryan", "Full Metal Jacket", "Band of Brothers", "The Deer Hunter" and I could add more, but I won't.

For me, "The Pacific" wasn't so much about war as it was about personal discovery -- war shown from the point of view that war, itself, tries soldiers' souls, and minds and all of their moral aspects. It showed all too well how the war felt and how it changed the men, and I couldn't help but relate all of it to Doug; the things he must have seen as an army medic, and the many ways he would have been changed.

The movie brought me to tears several times, especially the last episode, when the men were all returning home -- except for the Medal of Honor recipient who was killed in action during his second tour in the Pacific. His wife of only seven months gave his medal to his parents, which she met for the first time when the war was finally over. This was difficult for me and I found myself relating to her in a very personal way, even though it was only a movie.

I have to say that this series was different from most war movies I've seen -- yes, it was brutal but it was also an eloquent story that was finally less about how men fight and die than what happens to them when they fight and survive. I saw how character and sheer, unfair randomness combined to produce cruelty or decency and I felt deeply for the men who returned home at last.  It also underscores the honor, respect and understanding due our veterans, no matter what war they fought in.

Welcome Home.

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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