The Captain and I went to see the movie, Hacksaw Ridge and I feel it is a must see…for accuracy, if for nothing else.
Of all the “Hollywood War Movies”….it is most likely the most realistic, right beside the true based stories of “Saving Private Ryan” and “American Sniper”
The synopsis for Hacksaw Ridge:
The true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Doss was drafted and ostracized by fellow soldiers for his pacifist stance but went on to earn respect and adoration for his bravery, selflessness and compassion after he risked his life — without firing a shot — to save 75 men in the Battle of Okinawa.
The fighting took place on the hellish Maeda Escarpment in April 1945. The battlefield, located on top of a sheer 400-foot cliff, was fortified with a deadly network of Japanese machine gun nests and booby traps. The escarpment, nicknamed Hacksaw Ridge for the treacherously steep cliff, was key to winning the battle of Okinawa. The mission was thought to be near-impossible, and when Doss’s battalion was ordered to retreat, the medic refused to leave his fallen comrades behind.
Facing heavy machine gun and artillery fire, Doss repeatedly ran alone into the kill zone, carrying wounded soldiers to the edge of the cliff and singlehandedly lowering them down to safety. Each time he saved a man’s life, Doss prayed out loud, “Lord, please help me get one more.” By the end of the night he had rescued an estimated 75 men. (The always modest Doss reckoned he saved about 50, but his fellow soldiers gauged it closer to 100. They decided to split the difference.)
The picture below is the real Pfc. Desmond Doss being decorated by President Harry S. Truman on Oct 12, 1945.
I do not like war, I don’t think anyone does….and we certainly don’t need to romanticize it but having said that, I do believe it is good to acknowledge those who have shown heroism during their tour of duty, because there are times when military actions are necessary for national security or to fight tyranny.
In 2013, Charles Rangel wrote in USA Today that…. all Americans have a duty to defend our nation: “Being a citizen of this great nation comes with great responsibility. The Universal National Service Act and All American Selective Service Act ensure the cost of freedom and benefits of being an American are shared by all Americans”. Pfc. Desmond Doss believed in that also and he certainly did more than his share without a single shot.
As we approach this Thanksgiving week which falls just behind Veteran’s Day…I just want to say how thankful I am for all the men and women who have been so brave in defending our country.