I just finished up watching the HBO Miniseries ‘The Pacific’. I seldom binge watch (or watch TV period), but there is something about historical dramas that keeps me going back for more. The miniseries is produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg and covers some of the major campaigns of the Pacific theater during World War 2. I was extremely impressed with not just the historical accuracy of this show, but attention to detail down to every knot, button, and seam of the 1st Marine division. As most shows, there is a focus on a particular group of main characters throughout. I will admit there are some inappropriate scenes which will discourage parents from allowing younger kids to watch. Then again, the scenes of Marines losing limbs is just about as gruesome, but it is reality and should be shown as so. I will not give an overview of the show since you should watch it for yourself. I think it was very well put together.
Not surprisingly, the education system barely covers the battles fought during World War 2, especially in the Pacific theater. If you were to ask any high school or college student about the battles of Guadalcanal, Peleliu, or Okinawa, you will most likely get a deer in the headlights response. They may know about Iwo Jima, simply because the image of the American flag being raised up on Mount Suribachi has become a symbol. Educators may say that the average student who has no interest in history should not be forced to learn the minute details of the war. I say too bad! The average student wouldn’t know a thing about jumping off a ship at 18 and marching up a beach head with shots firing at them either. I believe ALL students should learn about the major Pacific battles, as well as every other battle fought in every American war since our founding. They need to appreciate the freedom they have by discovering firsthand the atrocities that the previous generations had to go through to secure them. Now I have my reservations on war and believe that most wars, WW1 and WW2 included, are started by individuals of high power for their own benefit, but I will never stop honoring the young men and women who risked their life to go fight in them. Honor and respect for the American soldier should go beyond a few holidays and a couple stickers on a car bumper. The American people should know the horrors of war and should know the history of them in and out.
I would like to see more miniseries produced like ‘The Pacific’. Tom Hanks seems to like covering the World War 2 era and had educated himself quite well. Unfortunately, the bulk of television will be smutty dramas and “reality” TV. Sadly our children watch the crappy stuff and poison their minds. If they were to watch more shows like ‘The Pacific’, they would become educated and perhaps appreciate their freedom more. Of course picking up a book and reading also helps, but that is even more of an impossible feat. So take a couple weeks off from watching ‘Shameless’ and instead turn on ‘The Pacific’, you will not only learn something, but will be impressed on how well the show portrays the World War 2 era.