Thursday, September 17, 2015

Above and Beyond

(Source)
Imagine, if you will, that it is three years after a major war, a world war which engulfed most of the planet, a war in which millions died. Now imagine that you are a pilot, one who served during that massive conflict and who survived. You have returned to the land of your birth, let's say the United States, and now in another small land, another war is about to begin. Somehow, you are drawn to that struggle.

Why, someone might ask, why do you feel the need to go off to another war? Let's put things in perspective, the year is 1948, the small land about to be engulfed in war is the state of Israel. Why would you go? Not a simple question, but what if you are Jewish?

In 1948, the ashes of Hitler's Germany have barely cooled. The death camps are still there, no longer do the long trains bring their innocent cargo but the memory is there. It is fresh and the rage and the pain are very real. Now another group of idiotic fanatics wish to wipe the Jewish people from the Earth. Their goal then (as it is now) is to wipe Israel from the map, their goal is to destroy every vestige of Judaism from their midst.

Faced with that, would you go?

Many American Jews did go, one of the more famous was Colonel Mickey Marcus, portrayed by Kirk Douglas in the movie Cast A Giant Shadow.
(Source)

Now some months ago I saw a trailer for a yet to be released movie, Above and Beyond, it had Messerschmidts, Spitfires and P-51s. What's not to like?

I finally had the chance to watch this film on Netflix, I was not disappointed. Anyone who knows fighter pilots would recognize many of the guys in this movie. Some were famous during World War II, many were just the guys who went and did their duty. The guys who don't win any fame, but they do win wars. More important than fame in my book.

I highly recommend this film. Perhaps there's a lesson (or two) in there for our own times. I don't know. Bravery is bravery and the Jewish people have been demonstrating that bravery for a long, long time. This film is a tribute to those who stood for Israel when she needed them.

Across the ages, I salute them.


22 comments:

  1. Looks like a great movie about a great moment in history. I'll give some thought to watching it one of these days though I'm hesitant given the present film industry/SJW zeitgeist.

    It's a superb story and I hope the film does it justice. Maybe it'll nudge a few people away from the popular narrative and towards reality. I seriously doubt that anyone in my community has any idea that Israel fought a war of survival and independence in 1948. I was at a school board meeting a couple of years ago when a young teacher gave an impassioned plea for support of the "palestinian cause," citing among other examples "Jewish soldiers murdering innocent palestinian athletes at the Berlin Olympics back in the 1960's." A chilling moment. Moreso because of the reaction in the room, grownup, "educated" folk who were shocked and outraged at this evil crime. And doubtless went home and vigorously clicked charity dollars toward hezbollah and hamas.

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    1. That is truly scary. A teacher actually said that? There's an argument for home schooling if I ever heard one.

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    2. I doubt the movie made it to many theaters.

      Oh, those folks at the school board meeting? Not educated. They've been saturated with propaganda and satisfied with whatever the media spoon feeds them. Unable and/or unwilling to think for themselves.

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    3. You'd be amazed at the things said at school board meetings. There are lots of really frightening ideas in the heads of other local government boards and councils as well. All of them supremely confident that they have a complete handle on the world. Because television, for the most part. I don't know about the rest of the nation, and perhaps Kimball County is a unique and localized bastion of sublime stupidity. Or not.

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    4. I would venture a guess that western Nebraska was a lot more enlightened than say, New England. Or California, or a number of other places.

      And that gives me pause!

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  2. When I saw that movie title I thought at first that it referred to the 1953 flick about the story of Paul Tibbets and the 509th, starring Robert Taylor.

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    1. Yup, two movies by the same name. Made searching for that opening photo interesting.

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  3. Sounds like a movie I would definitely enjoy, I'll have to check that one out.

    While it's hard to believe that the teacher at that board meeting could be that uneducated, it does happen. One of my
    electronics students here at the college came to me a number of years ago and said the his communications professor
    taught them that during WWII the Japanese captured Indians in America and made them handle all the Japanese
    communications. Needless to say, I was shocked that one of our educators could be so wrong and told the student
    to go to the library or get on the web and look up the Windtalkers and get the real facts!

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    1. Teachers, instructors, professors are always in peril when they venture outside their area of expertise.

      I'm sure a communications professor would not have much of a knowledge of history. (Just what the Hell does a communications professor teach anyway?)

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    2. RF, Microwave, satellite, laser...etc communications. After a few of us talked to the Asst. Dean of
      Technology, his contract was not renewed.

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    3. Ah, electronic comms. I have removed my Luddite hat and rejoined the 21st Century.

      Geez, how did I miss that?

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  4. A great movie and worth watching.

    PrarieAdventure: That teacher got her facts so backward you know she had to have a very advanced education degree. Sheesh.

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    1. Hahaha. Probably at least two PhDs!

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    2. Aaron,
      I'm gonna disagree with you on this one. (Pause for effect). I don't think she got HER facts wrong! I think she got THE facts wrong, but I think HER facts were exactly the way she wanted them.

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  5. Well, there are Facts---and "Facts".

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  6. That is a good movie, and there are some 'lessons' there...

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    1. Indeed there are. I wonder if we'll learn them in time.

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  7. Thanks for the tip--I'd not heard of either of those yet, but I'll be finding them now.

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