“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”—Thucydides
I recall my heritage and the journey of all of those brave men and women willing to step out and follow a dream for something better than what they had. We owe those that were brave enough to get on a boat, hardly as long as a tennis court, and set sail when, as far as your eye could see, was water.
I went to see Mel Gibson’s movie, about Desmond Doss’s life, “Hacksaw Ridge.” In an interview with Gibson, he says of Desmond, his faith is inspiring. It inspires me to be better. If we could all get just a smidgen of his faith we would be better for it.
It was moving to say the least. After it was over, I sat there several minutes with tears streaming attempting to process the bravery and the willingness of those men to fight to preserve The Dream. Now, men and women alike still fight to preserve the freedoms we have enjoyed in America for 240 years. That was one thing, but just as important was the character of Desmond Doss. As a conscientious objector, he refused to carry a rifle, but wanted to go serve his country after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The men in the barracks made fun of him, ridiculed, and beat him up trying to get him to retaliate, but he never did. His commanders attempted to get him discharged under Article 8, which is “unfit for service.” They failed.
After Americans were forced to retreat, Desmond stayed on top of the ridge to rescue the wounded, with the enemy still in the area. Each time he would lower a wounded man down the side of the ridge, he would pray, “God let me get one more. Let me get one more.” When it was over, he rescued 75 men. He even rescued a couple of Japanese, and ended up saving the lives of those who ridiculed him, taunted him, and attempted to get him sent home by an Article 8. He was quoted as saying, "With the world set on tearing itself apart, don't seem like a bad thing to want to put a little of it back together. While everyone is taking life, I'm gonn be saving it. That's my way to serve." Several scriptures come to mind.
"Greater love has no one than one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13,
“While being reviled, he did not revile in return, while suffering he uttered no threats.
(I Peter 2:23)
"Keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who
revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:16)
This is exactly what happened when Desmond rescued the very officers who tried to send him home and his fellow soldiers who ridiculed and mistreated him. Desmond was the first to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor as a conscientious objector. It is awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.
In my research, I discovered two other conscientious objectors who also received the Medal of Honor both in Viet Nam. Furthermore, I discovered those, too numerous to count who deliberately threw themselves on grenades to protect those around them.
The movie uses a real-life pacifist's legacy to lay the groundwork for a gripping wartime tribute to faith, valor, and the courage of remaining true to one's convictions in the face of ridicule and harassment. It is a very gripping, moving, re-creation of a man’s life, living out his convictions in the most hellish conditions, and was victorious so you and I can live The American Dream. Tell a soldier “Thank you for serving.”
Desmond Doss entered the presence of his Lord and Savior March 2006 and received, I'm sure his crown.
If you are interested in reading the facts behind the movie check it out here: