Sunday, September 30, 2007

Letters, Madness and Hope.

After I wrote about reading Snow Falling on Cedars, I thought that I should also mention that Cam and I watched Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, recently.

I don't watch many war movies. They can be incredibly disturbing and leave me with haunting images. If a movie can leave you with haunting images...

This one won so many awards, I wanted to find out why. I was intrigued at the idea that the story was told from the perspective of the Japanese.

Eastwood directed the story beautifully. The character development was rich. I can think of one character I cared about in particular.

There was another I respected and appreciated. Another was impressive, loyal and honorable.

I cared about and sympathized with others and was surprised by one. I don't want to give away too much. If you haven't seen the movie, do. If you have, you likely know who I'm talking about already.

The bad guys in this movie were equally striking. I appreciated that the story shows how there are people with compassion and good character in every culture.

Unfortunately, despicable people are on all sides too. I would like to watch Flags of our Father's, to see the same battle from the US perspective.

My dad wrote a book about his experience serving in Vietnam. In A Taste of War, he says, "War is Hell. It is the absolute worst thing in the world and should be avoided at all cost."

Like my dad, many of the men who fought in WWII were drafted (or enlisted because they thought they were going to be drafted anyway).

They were forced to leave their wives and families behind to fight, be injured (emotionally, physically or both), possibly be killed or made to kill another human being. All this for a cause they may or may not have believed in or even understood.

It is madness to me. Unfortunately, war is not just ancient history. Only last month, Bush's new war adviser said a return to the draft was worth considering.

As a mother, I can not fathom that some government official could call my son into war.

We need to figure out how to move to Canada or Holland if something like that ever gets close to happening. (photo credit)

This weekend, Cameron participated in an international partnership project. The Lily Project brings design students from Japan to San Francisco to team-up and work collaboratively with Academy of Art students.

I'm proud of Cameron and the work his group did yesterday. They rallied around the idea of giving a Gift of Hope to the world.

I'll close with another quote from my dad. "I hope that you and your loved ones never face war and know only peace."


Anonymous said...

Another incredible thing to watch is the new Ken Burns documentary on PBS. It is simply titled "The War" It is up to part 6 now I think. I have no idea how many sections it has, but it has been amazing. Well, one small glitch about the Sullivan Brothers from Iowa. The 5 brothers served on the same boat and all were killed in one single attack. The issue? Someone on the production crew decided that they were from Fredricksburg IA not Waterloo. Don't get the Iowans cranky about their war heros. (one reason why most armed forces do not put siblings in the same unit or boat is the Sullivan Brothers)
The episode that we watched last night just made me mad at the generals who never saw what the terrain was like, or instisted on getting a group out only to lose double the amount of men in the process.
There were interesting stories about Japanese-Americans who served while their families were in American internment camps. And a young Crow soldier who, while working with his unit taking over a town in Europe, was able to get the 4 necessary qualifications to become a Warrior Chief. He is the last true Warrior Chief of the Crow nation.
It is always a shock to see the pictures of these young men in uniform and then them today as they are now...looking like someone's grandfather.

Highly recommend.

(Ohh, for lighter fare, go see the Disney Ratatouii {sp?} It is darling)


Melissa Rose Ziemer said...

Yay Mary! Love this post & love you. Didn't realize that your Dad was in Vietnam...mine was too (and an uncle, who unfortunately still isn't quite the same from the experience). Anyhow, thank you for sharing and you are not alone in feeling that another draft would be unfathomable for your son and all children! Hopefully we will continue as a nation and a people to grow and evolve towards a higher plane of compassion and diplomacy through international peace projects (such as the one Cam's working on..yay again!), MUSIC (:-), letters, travel, and daily loving kindness interactions with people of all cultures, etc. You rock sister/lady/friend and am glad to know you! Thanks for your concern & contributions, you help make the world a better place just by being in it! Hugs & Love, Melissa xo :-)

Melissa Rose Ziemer said...

p.s. Sally Field definitely agrees with you too!!! ;-)