I love movies. When it comes to war movies, I’m seen many and some I really liked, but never want to watch again. Saving Private Ryan is one such movie.
When I heard of the Academy Award nominations for 2017, there were movies that caught my attention. Hacksaw Ridge was one such movie. It is categorized as a war movie, directed by Mel Gibson. In other movies he directed, Gibson likes to show the horror of reality. In The Passion, he showed spurting blood from the hands of Jesus as the nails were driven in. In Braveheart, Gibson did not shy away from showing the use of swords to cut off the legs of horses ridden by the English army. It brought their soldiers to the ground, making combat more equal.
A war movie directed by Gibson would have to be brutally bloody. However, the war itself is not the main theme in Hacksaw Ridge. The main theme is a man – a real man, a Pacifist, and his struggle to serve in the Army as a combat medic while staying committed to his faith.
I rented Hacksaw Ridge through On Demand and I watched. I watched again, and again. Desmond Doss captivated me. As a Pacifist, he was misunderstood. I can relate to that.
On April 1, 1942, Desmond Doss joined the United States Army. It was just after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Desmond wanted to serve his country – the United States, saving lives. He was 23-years old; a skinny native of Virginia with a southern drawl. In Desmond’s mind, God said, “If you love me, you won’t kill.”
When he voluntarily enlisted, he was assured that he would be assigned to a medic company and because of his Seventh Day Adventist belief in Saturday being the Sabbath, he was told that belief would be honored.
Instead, Desmond was assigned to an infantry rifle company. His commanding officers wanted to get rid of him. They intimidated him, and assigned him to extra duties. They even tried to court martial him for refusing a direct order to carry a rifle. But, they failed to toss him out, and he refused to leave.
His fellow soldiers ostracized and bullied him. Because he refused to touch a gun, they called him a coward. Desmond believed in the Golden Rule and never held a grudge. When the men got blisters on their feet, Desmond had a way of healing them. When they fainted from heat stroke, he was at their side with his own canteen. Read the rest of this entry