Saving Private Ryan

I watched Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan this evening and it struck me as it never has before. I have always been extremely intrigued by World War II. However, this night I have had a profoundly emotional response to the powerful story of war, freedom, and sacrifice. I have been pondering the worth of life much of late. When I am old and my time is short, will I look back fondly and proudly of my life, my decisions, and my character? I hope to say yes when that question returns in may years to come.

The story of Private Ryan captivated my pathos this evening in a way that I cannot say I have had done by a war film before. The sacrifice each and every man and woman of the military give so that I can enjoy basic freedoms that all mankind should be able to exercise, is profound and will never go unnoticed or recognized by myself in this life. I am not a man of violence. I am not a man of physical prowess in anything, but if it came to myself needing to serve in that role, I would certainly do it with my head held high as all those who serve us do.

I do not come from a military laden family. My grandfather served during the Korean War, but never left the U.S. He did go up to Alaska. He was a mechanic for the planes, or “war birds,” as he likes to say. My uncle joined the Navy when he was young to see the world and never left California. Funny how things pan out.

I have considered becoming a JAG attorney, but I go back and forth on it. I think it might be the best way for a nonathletic intellectual like myself to serve the military. We shall see. For now it remains a possibility.

Back to Saving Private Ryan, I tried to imagine how it would feel for someone to literally give their life for me. It was at this point that I realized many do, everyday. I may not agree with the fighting that is being done in the name of the United States of America around the globe, but I can certainly respect those placing their lives in harm’s way in the name of honor and civic service. It is for this reason that I now have a little more pushing me to excel towards my goals and aspirations. I shall push myself harder and longer to achieve the things I am only able to do through those who fight for the maintenance of these freedoms most take for granted. Don’t consider this writing a wake-up call, but rather a revival.

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