The Weekend of War

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This weekend while conscious [that annoying time between naps] & flipping through the channels I happened upon three war movies; three time periods, three geographic locations, three campaigns. There is a common theme. What, asks the films, is the worth of a single human soul?

Sometimes a loss can be a win ...


Loss: King Leonidas. Leonidas had been warned by the oracle that either Sparta would be destroyed or their king would lose his life. Leonidas chose the second alternative.

Win: The death of a king forced all of Greece [Spartans, Tegeans, and Athenians] to defend itself against the Persian army.

The Last Samurai

Loss: Katsumoto, samurai leader who aspired to the ideals of; discipline, loyalty, and benevolence leads a rebellion rooted in the inability of the samurai to envision duty and honor without status, or to be a part of a nation striving for growth.

Win: Japan moves forward with industrialization, undergoes radical social and political changes to become the technological marvel and world competitor that we know today. Bonus, Captain Algren regains his honor.

Saving Private Ryan

Loss: Captain John Miller [& all but two of his squad]. Miller heads up a squad of men with the primary task of finding Private Ryan, whose three brothers have all been killed at various locations all over the world as American soldiers.

Win: An important bridge is saved and the battle is won, a son survives and makes it home, lest his family be deprived of all its male offspring.

There are many historical inaccuracies as we are dealing with reality; the Battle of Thermopylae, Satsuma rebellion, and the Invasion of Normandy but sometimes, legend, lore and fantasy merely embellish the past. Fantasy always tops reality.

Sometimes a loss can be a win.

I Am.