“Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?”

“Grandpa said ‘No. But I served in a company of heroes.'”

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I work for a small newspaper. This week, we’re putting out a Veterans Day insert and I just got back from interviewing a Marine who served from 1988 until 2009. He kept mentioning how the military, and the Marines, are a “band of brothers” and then said almost the EXACT SAME THING Mike Rainey said to his grandson, and was later relayed to Dick Winters and used in Band of Brothers. And being Veterans Day, after I’m done with work, I’m planning on plowing through Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Because I can. Because I want to remember the sacrifices these men made so that I can be here.

So I can not convey what watching Band of Brothers does to me. My heart aches. These men…these incredible men. Every time I watch it, it becomes so much more…it means more.

The first time you watch it, you have no idea who these people are. It’s a bunch of guys wearing the same thing, and they kind of look alike. And at the end, 10 hours later, you still aren’t sure of who people are. You can probably name Winters and Nixon and Ross from Friends. Maybe.

And then, you rewatch it. And at the end you know a few more men. And then you research them and know details about them and read their point-of-view from that incredible time and see things like this. And then you rewatch the series knowing all of these things and become an emotional wreck.

At least that’s how it happened to me. I’m so emotionally involved in this story. This amazing, powerful, heartbreaking, awe-inspiring story. I have trouble watching it all together. The last five hours are incredibly emotional. From Bastogne to the end of the war…that’s when things just become too much for me. I can’t even begin to picture being there. At the end of the series, the narrator (Damian Lewis as Major Richard Winters) talks about where everyone went after the war. They all went back to these regular lives. They worked in construction and were mailmen and school administrators and handymen. They went from being these incredible heroes of the European theater to these average, normal lives. (For those who don’t know the story of Easy, the Wikipedia article is a pretty good place to start.). And thats what always makes me bawl. As the narrator starts talking about how SIXTEEN HUNDRED PEOPLE showed up to George Luz’s funeral, I start. What an incredible person to have that many people care about you. I don’t think there are a hundred people who would show up to my funeral, let alone 16 times that amount.

And then the vets are shown, as they are at the begnining of every episode, only this time they’re identified and you can finally put names to faces and who did what. And then it sinks in that most of those brilliant, brave heroes are no longer with us. 

There are alot of things that I cry at. I know this. But the emotions in this…they are so hard to describe. I don’t know, I feel honored that these men would share their stories and to know the hell that they went through so we wouldn’t be speaking German today. I can’t really explain what Band of Brothers does to me. Every time. I’ve watched this story more than 10 times since my first discovery in 2008, and every time, its MORE intense.

God bless E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, and its soldiers. Those who died defending our country during WWII and those that did make it home, ether they are with us still or not. And God bless all of those who are in the military. You ALL are heroes.

If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
[…]This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian.’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispian’s day.’
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words
[…]Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my bro
ther; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.


Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Television

One response to ““Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s