Band of Brothers is a 10-episode series from HBO that should be shown to every school kid across the nation.
I don’t subscribe to the notion that the youth of today have become lazy, too dependent on their electronics and don’t appreciate what the generations before have accomplished (though they’re more than willing to point out how past generations have ruined their future). Today’s generation and the generation before it grew up with cynicism when it comes to the concept of heroism and sacrifice.
They’ve more than earned that right because their government and those tasked to serve and protect them have failed often enough (though their successes in serving and protecting rarely gets mentioned). While I understand the cynicism and doubt of the current generation and the one before it, it doesn’t change the fact that most of those who lived in the so-called “Greatest Generation” did their duty with honor and tried to make the country prosperous for the generations to come.
That’s why the scene which affected me the most from Band of Brothers wasn’t one of combat, the quiet solitude before battle or the camaraderie exhibited by those who served and fought together for what they thought and believed to be a just cause. No, the scene which hit me the most closed out the series and comes from Maj. Richard Winters. He quotes a passage from a letter he received from one of his men through the years. The letter was from Mike Ranney and in it were words that best signifies why we celebrate Memorial Day and why we should continue to honor and pay respect to this “Greatest Generation” who are gradually leaving us for good.