Monday, May 31, 2010

Private Ryan

When my son was a teenager, he loved playing video games, like most young boys do. He especially liked playing rather violent shoot-em-up games, which I despised. This was ten years ago; I cannot imagine the graphics of today, which must be much more life-like than those of ten years ago. Some, if not most, of those violent video games Sean played were war games. I was concerned that Sean was taking the subject of war way too lightly and that war was far too glamorized in movies and video games. So, when the movie "Saving Private Ryan" came out the summer that Sean was 15, I knew I wanted him to see it.

We were in Connecticut for a few weeks that summer, staying with my parents for a few days. I thought it was important that even though we were only back east for two weeks each year, that Sean spend time with his grandparents while we were there. One rainy day, we all went out to see "Saving Private Ryan". I've seen my dad cry, but this was the only time I had ever seen my dad cry at a movie. My dad rarely spoke about World War II, of which he was an active participant. This movie just really hit home for my dad, and I think it changed my son's view of war. War is bloody ugly and real people die. Some friends and family members never return. One does just not "go on to the next level", unless you are referring to heaven. War is not a game.

Today is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who lost their lives so that the rest of us could enjoy picnics and barbecues on May 31st. Let us not forget those brave men and women in the armed service who lost their lives so that we could continue to enjoy ours in peace and freedom.

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