“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” ― Winston S. Churchill
We went to see the movie, “Dunkirk” this weekend. As a work of profoundly crafted art, it is indeed a masterpiece. I’m not crazy about war movies and I have a fear of dying in the ocean so this movies wasn’t on my top ten of must sees, but the determination of the British army in evacuating the beach at Dunkirk was awe inspiring.
An amazing musical score used instruments to intensify the action. The sounds of the stringed instruments as the planes whirred and sputtered; the growing heartbeat of percussion as emotion and panic lit up the screen; the use of the brass section of the orchestra and the pounding of drums as bombs fell and bullets pierced the air was incredible.
I don’t recall learning much about the evacuation in my history classes as a child, but really this was an event which shows the determination, not only of the airmen, the nurses, the infantry and navy, but also how the civilians came to their rescue, when it seemed they would never escape elimination.
Forced to the sea, with no real chance of escape, these young men and women were sitting ducks. The movie uses very little dialogue, but the acting skills are enough to carry the story.. Most emotions were expressed visually and were extremely believable. I cannot imagine the fear that must rage in the mind of any soldier when faced with imminent death.
On the opposing side, which is not really referenced in the movie, the Germans decided to pull back from the beaches of Dunkirk, because they felt they could wipe out the allied troops with their superior air force. They weren’t counting on this mass evacuation causing a stronger ground army as the troops returned to battle. The addition of the American troops also helped to defeat Hitler and his tirade against the world.
War is ugly. No matter how it’s memorialized. We have cemeteries to honor the dead. There are many memorials to call attention to those wars. There are the broken hearts of loved ones as they grieve over their lost. Nothing can replace a life. Nothing can immortalize the great deeds they’ve accomplished or the horrors they endured for the benefit of serving their nation.