16thAugust ‘10  (taken from my personal journal…)

Watched the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’ yesterday and was struck by the message within.

When the group of soldiers were first given the task of finding Private Ryan, their  thoughts were ‘What’s so special about him that 6? men have to risk their lives to save one?’   and   ‘He’d better be worth it!’  and  ‘When he gets home, he’d better invent a cure for some disease or something.

They were all thoughts about the value of one person’s life measured against another.

The last words uttered by the dying Captain of the group sent to save him were ‘Earn it
meaning that as Ryan was still alive, and that all the others were now dead, he had better make their deaths worth something.

The last scene of the film was of Ryan as an old man visiting the memorial graves in Normandy, France, and of him standing in front of the Captain’s memorial in tears asking his wife if he’d been a good man, if he’d lived a good life.

(I’m in tears whilst writing this!)  He was obviously feeling a lifelong guilt for being deemed worthy of saving at the cost of all those others.

I can’t help but feel that I should apply the same gratitude to all those who died in WWII as my life is easy, possibly because of the fact that the Nazi’s were beaten, therefore they were beaten by the efforts of those who fought, suffered and died for my gain.

Is this not reason enough to make the most of the life I have?

Is it not reason enough for ALL of us to do that?