Monday, May 30, 2011

We Must "Earn This"


Let me just say this at the very beginning...
I hate war.
Absolutely hate it. 
I really wish that I could buy the world a coke and, well, you know the rest. 
I know that people who know me will find this statement interesting since I did serve as a member of the military. 
That doesn't make a difference 
I still hate war. 
But I do understand the reality. 
That living on a planet with almost 7 billion people with diverse ideas on how things should be will result in war in some part of the world at any time. 
Not the most favorable of situations. 
But, unfortunately, the reality. 
And as part of that unfortunate reality, people die. 
Some are civilians who find themselves helpless in the middle of a war zone. 
The others are those who go marching into battle. 
Those who fight, and die, perserving ideals and a way of life they cherish. 
On this day, in the United States, we honor those very people. 
Those who fought and died to perserve our way of life. 
Whether we believe in every reason why we, as a country, go to war. 
There is one thing we can agree on. 
The unselfish sacrifice of those who serve and die. 
For us. 

That brings me to the photo above. 
It is a picture of a newspaper editoral that I have pinned on the bulletin board in my craft room. 
I have many things on this board that have touched my heart or made me think. 
And someday I will do a separate blog post about everything that is on this board. 
But for now, I want to write about that editorial. 
It appeared in the Arizona Republic on May 26, 2008. 
As it is the daily editorial from the newspaper, I have no idea who wrote it.
So I am not sure who to credit it too. 
And I wish I could just post the entire article so everyone can read it but I don't want to break any copyright laws.
Also, I can't find any reprints on the internet to provide at least a link. 
So, I'll just have to give you the gist of the editoral. 
And why it touched me so. 
So much that it has remained on my bulletin board for the last three years. 

As you can tell from the title, the editorial addresses the message of the movie Saving Private Ryan. 
I saw Saving Private Ryan when it first came out. 
To say this movie affected me deeply would be an understatement. 
The movie, particularly the first 24 minutes, affected me so much that it was six years before I could watch it again. 
Never had the realities of war been so vividly immortalized. 
And Mr. Spielberg made me think.  About something I had really given little thought to. 
Sacrifice. 
Now I realize that not everyone viewed the movie through the same scope that I did. 
I got that dose of reality shortly after seeing the movie. 
As I sat across the table from a co-worker at lunch. 
She shared with all of us at the lunch table that she found the movie very offensive. 
"I almost got up and walked out of the theatre," she huffed. 
Someone at the table asked her "why". 
I expected her to say that she didn't like war movies. 
Or that she didn't like the gore. 
Both very understandable....this type of movie really is not everybody's cup of tea. 
No, it was neither and her response totally blew me away. 
She said, "Do they think we really need to see this stuff?" 
One of us at the table replied "Yes"  meaning that yes we really needed to see this stuff because we had a tendency to forget. 
I believe her theory was that it is the job of parents to teach this to their children. 
Not Steven Spielberg. 
I started thinking......
I was born 16 years after the end of World War II. 
I barely remember Vietnam as I was just a kid. 
And the only war up to that point that I could remember vividly, lasted, like 10 minutes.  (This was pre 9-11)
How on earth could I convey to my children in a lifetime what Steven Spielberg did so well in 24 minutes. 
I have no idea. 
Which brings me back to the editorial and why it touches me. 
When I first read the editorial I immediately thought of the above incident. 
The editorial says we are all Private Ryan because since the formation of this nation, many have sacrificed their lives for us.
I believe it is the reason we "need to see this stuff". 
At the end when Tom Hanks says to Matt Damon, aka Private Ryan, "Earn this" it was as though we were all being told the same thing.
To Earn This.
Those sacrifices.
That is what Saving Private Ryan is all about.
And in my mind, it is a message that needed to be conveyed....on film....to be remembered for eternity...lest we ever dare to forget.
It is what made me cut out a newspaper article and post it on my bulletin board three years ago. 
So that I will never forget. 
And I will remember to "Earn this."

2 comments:

Samara Link said...

Hi, Wendy. My goodness, you and I really run around the same areas. I live at Riggs and McQueen -- not far from you at all, and we go to the same Trader Joes over in Ahwatukee. :) Yes, crocheters are welcome. Two of the ladies there were actually crocheting. One is working on a counted cross stitch. I think it would be so great if you came by to see if it's a fit for you. It would be so nice to meet you!

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

This post drives home the fact that there ARE people out there who would rather go on with their daily lives and not 'recognize' that this is a reality for a lot of people. Just because it doesn't touch them or their family they think they shouldn't have to deal with it or explain to their children what it's all about. Ignorance, I think, is what it is.

They don't stop to think that this could actually happen and be on their soil and in their faces just as easily as it is halfway around the world.

I am a few years older than you and I remember sitting as a kid watching the Viet Nam war on the nightly news, and when the war was over I watched those guys come home and get spit on. It left a very big impression on me. I get a bit upset when people don't realize what sacrifices those people then and now in the military, and their families, make for our freedom. Just because it doesn't touch their lives, why should they care. That's their mentality. I just don't understand people sometimes.

Thank you for your post. (Sorry for the long ramble)