On Memorial Day or any day for that matter, the most appropriate military movie is called “Taking Chance” starring Kevin Bacon. Today, many movies are being shown which honor the valor of the men and women who fought for our country. Yet, “Taking Chance” honors Lance Corporal Chance Phelps (1984 – 2004) who gave his life in defending our country. Chance Phelps is representative of all of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Bacon plays the role of Lt. Colonel Michael Strobl, the military escort of Phelps’ remains. He honorably shepherds the deceased back to his family. Strobl is emblematic of all of his fellow soldiers who did their best to honor Phelps as they prepared his body. He is moved by the display of respect and honor given to Phelps on his way back home. One of the more moving gestures in a movie with many, is when a flight attendant learns of what Strobl is doing and gives him a cross, which he later gives to the family. This is one of the most moving movies you will ever see. I watched it for the second time a few moments ago. If you get a chance, please do yourself a favor and watch it.
Men and women who fight for our country deserve the utmost support and respect. Yet, our leaders owe more to them than that. Before we send these young men and women into harms way, we owe it to them to make sure we have exhausted all other options. We owe it to them to look for any peaceful resolution to a crisis. We owe it to them to be diligent and not rash in our debate. And, if we decide to intervene militarily, we owe it to them to amply supply, support and deploy them. Even though these are not the sons or daughters of senators (to remember a John Fogerty song), our leaders need to treat them that way.
Let’s take a few minutes to remember Lance Corporal Chance Phelps and those like him. They gave their lives for something they believed in. We should not let them die in vain and remember what they did. We owe it to them.