Monday, November 10, 2008

Shedding a Tear or Two

Last night I watched a 10 year old movie that I shouldn’t have watch. I had seen it several times before and I would get very emotionally distraught each time that I viewed it in the past. Last night was no different.

But it’s a great movie that was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won 5 including best Director (Steven Spielberg), so I put myself through the agony once again.

Saving Private Ryan was a very well crafted, well written, and well acted movie. Spielberg directed films tend to bring out the deepest emotions of the viewer. Many of his films do not have happy endings.

The first time I got emotional while watching a movie was when I was 10 years old and watching John Wayne as Sgt. Stryker in the Sands of Iwo Jima. This was also the first time I ever saw my Dad get choked up and shed a tear.

My Dad was a WWII vet stationed in the European Theater during D-Day. He saw very little combat (he was rear echelon) but he did see a lot of dead US Soldiers. He went into Normandy 4 days after (June 10, 1944) the initial assault on Omaha Beach.

Dad didn’t really enjoy talking about the War, but he once recollected seeing very many dead bodies of Americans (as well as Germans) still on the beach where he landed (most of the GI’s were buried at the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach). By this time the front lines were well inland.

Dad had an album of Black and White photographs that he had taken, showing the destructiveness and carnage of war. He told me to remember them well and that some day it might be my turn to serve my country. Ten years later it was and I did.

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. I’ll be thinking of my Dad, of friends that I served with in the Military and of the countless military personnel that never lived to see another Veteran’s Day. I’ll say a prayer for those currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I’ll shed a tear or two, as I did late last night while I watched Saving Private Ryan.

The Beach Bum

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