Friday, April 27, 2012

" costly a sacrfice upon the altar of freedom."

While we're in France this summer, we'll be touring Normandy, the site of the Allied invasion. Last weekend, we watched Saving Private Ryan to become more familiar with June 6th, 1944, otherwise known as D-Day. It is an incredible movie, not just about D-Day but also about WWII. Of course, as a war movie, it is quite bloody - in fact the bloodiest movie I've ever watched. And, I did fast forward through a couple of 'inappropiate conversations' (which were while they were waiting for the tanks by the bridge). But, we are both a lot more aware of what D-Day meant to the war now.

So, who is this Private Ryan that needs saving? He is one of 4 brothers... the other 3 having all been killed in the war. Some soldiers are sent on a mission to find him and bring him home so his mother doesn't have to suffer the loss of her 4th son. While the leader is explaining why he thinks they need to "save" Private Ryan, he reads this incredible, elogent, moving letter written by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. It was written in November of 1864 to a Mrs Bixby in Boston...

Dear Madam:
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
Abraham Lincoln.


lahbluebonnet said...

We watched The Longest Day which is supposed to be quite historically accurate. I don't remember much blood and in the way modern movies like to go over the top with gorey stuff.

liese4 said...

Did you hear about exercise tiger? I had never heard of it before, it was the rehearsal for Normandy that went horribly wrong, but was the reason D-day went off so well. More men were lost in the rehearsal than in the actual landing!

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