I just finished watching HBO’s excellent mini-series, The Pacific.
Whenever I encounter documentaries about World War II, arguably the most brutal war the world has ever seen (or not seen as the case may be for many of us), I am incredibly moved by the strength of the men who volunteered to fight on the side of freedom against oppression and tyranny.
I ask myself, “What kind of man fights for an idea bigger than himself? What kind of man fights for others who can’t or won’t fight for themselves? Where does he get that kind of strength?”
I honestly don’t know. I’ve never had to give that type of strength or make that level of sacrifice.
I have never served in the military. I had a chance, and I turned it down.
My dad was career USAF. 26 and-a-half years. Both my grandfathers served in the Army during WWII.
After watching The Pacific and after seeing Band of Brothers, and Saving Private Ryan, I can’t imagine the brutality of war. Somehow, as good of a filmmaker as Steven Spielberg is, I think he captured only part of the carnage these men faced and therefore part of the strength they had to demonstrate. But thankfully he has so we who never knew can “remember.”
Three weeks from today is June 6th. It is the 66th anniversary of D-Day, or Operation Overlord, the Allied Invasion of Normandy. I have the opportunity and privilege to be able to not only visit the battlefields of Normandy, but to be there on the 6th to pay tribute to those who sacrificed on that day so we could be here today.
To those brave men and women who serve or have served in the United States Armed Forces – Thank you. Thank you for your strength.