[If you're not into movies, you can skip this blog entry...]
I love World War II history. My Grandpa Bill (Arant) was in the war. It was a fascinating time in our nation's history.
The first book that drew me into WWII was In Harm's Way by Doug Stanton. (Thanks, Bob Thune, Jr. for the book recommendation 8 years (?) ago.)
Two movies that do a great job with the war are Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. BOB is one of the few movies that is as good as the book. When people think of Saving Private Ryan, they may remember the opening D-Day scene. But that is not the most important scene, or the best part of the movie. Thanks, David Churchill for teaching me how to watch a movie...
The question of the movie- "Who is this Private Ryan? Is he worth it?" Tom Hanks' character, Captain Miller said, "He better be worth it. He better go home and cure a disease, or invent a longer-lasting light bulb."
So at the end of the movie we get Spielberg's view of whether or not Private Ryan was worth saving. The older Private Ryan is kneeling in front of Captain Miller's grave, wondering if he was worth the sacrifice of these fallen comrades when he has this conversation with his wife:
Old James Ryan: Tell me I have led a good life.
Ryan's Wife: What?
Old James Ryan: Tell me I'm a good man.
Ryan's Wife: You are. [with a pat on the back and awkwardly restraining emotion which was so common for that generation]
Behind them we see a blurred image of Ryan's offspring. It's as though Spielberg is saying, "You don't have to find the cure for cancer to be 'worth it.' Raising a family and being a good man is all Private Ryan had to do to be worth it.
Do you agree with their conclusion about what makes a life worth saving?