Saturday, October 1, 2016

"The Pacific"

I just finished episode 10 and the last episode of the series "The Pacific" originally seen on HBO.  I watched it via Amazon Prime.

"The Pacific"  does for the Marines in the south Pacific what "Band of Brothers" did for the Army in Europe.  Based on the true stories of individual Marines who fought in the horrendous campaigns of island hopping during WW2, it followes the lives of a group of men and women who went through the war from Guadalcanal to VJ day to adjusting to life at home after the war.

The battle scenes are about as gruesome as has been seen on TV ever but they show what these men went through.  The final episode shows the wrenching adjustment that the Marines went through, killing one day and six months later back at home in the same bedroom that they had left as teen-agers at the beginning of the war.  If someone can watch this episode without a handkerchief in hand then they have a heart of stone.

As a kid growing up, men like these were the dads of my friends, the scout master, the little league coach.  It is a miracle and a testament to them that they were able to go on with life with no outward effect on them.  I remember a man in the neighborhood who couldn't work or hold a job and who sat outside of his house most of the day smoking cigarettes.  I wonder now if he was suffering from crippling PTSD from the war as he was of that age.   I know now how lucky my family was that my father was pulled from the levy that was shipping replacements to Europe in the summer of '44 and was allowed to stay in the U.S.  Who know how he would have fared?

Not an easy show to watch but the story that it tells of a vanishing generation is one that deserves to be seen.

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