Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Old Breed
The Old Breed....1st Marine Division. It's also the name of a book written by Eugene Sledge, motorman with the 5th Marines (K/3/5) at Peleliu and Okinawa. I have read more military history books then I could ever count and this is absolutely one of the finest ever. An incredibly moving and detailed account of those two battles from the grunts point of view.
Sledges story is also featured in the 10 part HBO Mini-Series "The Pacific" currently playing on Sunday nights at 9pm. I recommend it to every single person who lives in this country. No kidding, I really do. If you see it you will never look at one of our U.S. combat veterans the same way ever again. It will also bring new meaning to phrases like "They served our Country" or "Fought for our Freedom".
Most of us hear those phrase's all the time, mostly from politicians. But very few folks know what "fighting for our freedom" really looks and feels like. This film, in a very small way shows it...and it is horrifying. I watched the 7th episode tonight showing the last 20 days or so of the battle of Peleliu. I'm still in awe....
I also have to say something about guys like Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Those two have done more to portray as honestly as possible what World War II looked, sounded and felt like through film. At a time when our own history is being "revised", "White Washed", "Watered Down" and made politically correct, they have the balls to show it like it really was. And show the American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman as they really were.
I attended my oldest nieces graduation today from E. Michigan University. I suspect that most of those students graduating today (accept those in and familiar with the service) do not have any realistic idea of the sacrifice that were made on all of our behalf. That also goes for a large part of our population today I'm afraid. I'm not sure that will ever change but shows like "The Pacific' do a great service in giving us a slight "glimpse" of what "sacrificing for our country" really looks like.....