What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 6, 2005

Saving Private Ryan (Second Try)

I posted this over the weekend, but it got lost in the aether somehow. Here it is again, with some minor tweaking.

I'm watching Saving Private Ryan right now.

First off, I had no idea Vin Diesel was in it. Good for him.

Secondly, I feel the need to weigh in on the main question of the movie. Private Rieben (Ed Burns) raises it when he asks:
You want to explain the math of this to me? I mean, where's the sense in risking the lives of the eight of us to save one guy?
And later in the movie Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) says this of Private Ryan (Matt Damon):
He better be worth it. He better go home and cure a disease, or invent a longer-lasting light bulb.
And finally, late in the movie, Miller says to Private Ryan:
Earn this... earn it.
I can't speak for anyone else, but to me if we view the movie not only as a historical recreation but as a metaphor - a metaphor of duty and sacrifice - we have to see that in a sense we are Private Ryan.

Let me be more specific on it. The servicemen who died in that war sacrificed themselves not just for Private Ryan, but in a larger sense for us as well. They died for their country and they died for their country's future. They died so that we can (maybe) cure a disease or invent a longer lasting light bulb or something.

It is our duty and reponsibility to earn that sacrifice - to make America a place worthy of that sacrifice.

This country was built on the ideal that it was instituted to secure for its citizens those unalienable and self-evident rights Jefferson wrote so eloquently about. The Preamble to the Constitution says that a "more perfect Union" was set-up to (among other things) "establish justice" and "secure the Blessings of Liberty" for all Americans. Lincoln elegantly referred to it as a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Again, I can't speak for anyone else but it seems to me that an American Patriot will work hard to make sure the United States Government lives up to those ideals.

Sad to say but this current administration hasn't even begun to live up to those ideals.

I hope everyone had a good Independence Day.

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