Monday, May 10, 2010


We've been watching The Pacific, a mini-series on HBO. It follows Marines through WWII.

It's extraordinarily well done. Though I've never been anywhere near a war, I'd imagine it was something like the hell portrayed on the screen. It's depressing to become connected to the stories of these characters, only to watch them killed in the next episode.

But, what is worse, this is real. These things really happened. The particular stories of the soldiers are fictionalized, but the rest of it is based entirely on real events.

I cannot even fathom the horrors these men, these boys, must have seen. The piles of rotting bodies. Holding the hands of their dying friends. The fear in the faces of their fellow soldiers, the fear in the eyes of their enemies. The image of a woman carrying a crying child, making her way through the lines of soldiers, only for them to learn that she was a weapon. The baby a vessel for a bomb.

To watch these characters get sucked deeper and deeper into the war, to watch some of them go from naive young soldiers to almost soulless vigilante assassins, is disturbing to say the least. Some of them seem to have a personal vendetta against every single enemy soldier. Determined to kill them. The war, the fighting, having forced them to lose their conscience. The way that war can change people is frightening.

One only needs watch 3 minutes of this show to fully comprehend why soldiers have a hard time readjusting when they come home from war. Any war. Then. Now.

The one thought running through my head the entire time we have been watching this is we humans, as a species, are far too powerful. We lack the ability to control ourselves and can cause great destruction. Massive destruction. We fight. In the name of religion. In the name of pride. For land. For power. For money. We fight.

We can lose our lives. We can lose our homes. We can lose our sense of security. Worst, we can lose our souls.

If ever there was a way to teach people to be peace loving, it is through the use of films like this. Only though seeing the horror of war, the ugly and unedited truth, can we find a reason to stop it. And we must.

1 comment:

  1. The next time I visit Arlington you should come.
    The living history in uniform demanding respect, respectfully. Protection, because someone knows everything. Once you've been cleared as a direct relative you are handed a map and acquire vehicle clearance. Approaching the heavily guarded private gate leading into the abyss of green mazes lined with markers, you are saluted upon entry. Passing the Eternal Flame and the first set of Cherry Blossoms of Spring, you are again saluted. Important. You feel it, all around, what history has left for us. Not a blade nor a gravel out of place, winding through the narrow road in search of the "street" the map leads you. So many names you'll never read, much less recognize, pass like people on the street. You drive as far as the grounds allow, where road meets the green on his site. Walking as if on a treasure hunt, because it is, you search with heavy breath and trembling hands. When you find what you've come for after all these years, well I fell to my knees.
    Just like the others to the left, the right, behind and before, His Wars, His title, His D.O.D. etched beneath His name...and a view of the Pentagon behind; Forgetting to exhale, I recognized this one. Somehow hoping it wouldn't be there.

    Accounts on every War including the present have been only tales to many, the better the memory of its Technical Advisers, the clearer the account. A staple of each picture told has been men watching bullets whiz by, and feeling one enter their body. Men have watched their best friend blown up in front of them. Men that stop talking about it. The real storytellers who, unfortunately, tell it from hollowed ground, or at home, safe from it all. Or so we think.
    The War, old and new, on enemy soil and right outside our door, man-made and man-sustained, it IS wrong. It is history's lifeline to turn its head and grin...directly at us...

    Thanks for sharing :)


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