I bought the mini series “The Pacific” for my husband this last Christmas. In the last couple of days I finally got to see the whole thing with him. Based on the true story from two marines stationed in the Pacific Islands from 1942-1945 – it contains much more personal drama and a “behind the scenes” looks from the men and their families. It is considered a sister series to the very popular “Band of Brothers“.
The Pacific is based primarily on two memoirs of U.S. Marines, With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene Sledge and Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie. The miniseries tells the stories of the two authors and Marine John Basilone, as the war against the Empire of Japan rages. It also draws on Sledge’s China Marine and Red Blood, Black Sand, the memoir of Chuck Tatum, a Marine who fought alongside Basilone on Iwo Jima.
The miniseries features well-known battles with Japan involving the 1st Marine Division, such as Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa, as well as Basilone’s involvement in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
I would NOT suggest this for a less than mature audience – not just for the extremely graphic violence – but for the sexuality as well. Not sure why it needed to be so graphic in that area in order to tell the story – but it is what it is. If you don’t like either of these things – don’t watch it.
I enjoyed the human interest aspect – and so did my husband – especially a father/son relationship of one of the lead characters, Eugene Sledge. His father was a doctor and had treated men from WWI – and did not want his son to enlist knowing that it wasn’t the physical injuries – but the internal ones that the men never got over. He said “They got their souls ripped out”. And this is exactly what Eugene experiences after returning home from duty. It is hard to watch the father – hearing the nightmares from his son.
We watched the making of this – and also the interviews with the real men whose stories were told. One man said that they had just about given up hope that their story would ever be told – and being so sensational – they were not sure anyone would believe it. On one of the days of shooting – several of the men – now very advanced in age – showed up to watch. It was very moving for all the actors to be in the presence of such great men.
In light of the recent announcement from our president that the troops are being sent home – it just seemed like a fitting end to our series a few days ago.
Thank you to the men and women who are a part of this great service to our country. We can never repay you. You are the true heroes.
Who do you know who served during any of the great wars? Who are you indebted to today?
- The Pacific (bigsteveg.wordpress.com)
- Community Profile: Quantico Marine Corps Base welcomes Gunnery Sergeant Verice Bennett. (moyersteamblog.com)