HOLLYWOOD—Sunday night’s episode of “The Pacific” was very shocking and historically accurate; it brought tears to my eyes. The episode was written by Bruce C. McKenna and directed by David Nutter. This production team seems to know just how to bring great drama and accuracy to the lives of the men who fought during WWII. In this episode, Basilone and the 7th Marines arrive on Guadalcanal to reinforce Leckie and the rest of the 1st Marine Division as they continue to defend the crucial airstrip.
Basilone played a key role in repelling a nighttime Japanese attack, but suffers a frightful personal loss. After four months of continuous action, the exhausted and disease-ridden members of the 1st Marine Division are evacuated off the island. The horrors of war were evident in the episode; however, the bravery in which these wonderful heroes endured such pain and suffering for the freedom and equality Americans and many in the world now enjoy can often be directly related to the very veterans who are dying today from this horrible but necessary war.
What is so incredible about this Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg epic miniseries is the faces of the young men in this war were often tear-streamed with blood and the love of their country, which many young men, including teenagers put their lives and their livelihoods after the state of their nation and to stop the evil empire of Japan from defeating and ultimately destroying the free-world. Seeing these young kids in fox-holes and in theaters that were perhaps more frightening than anything most humans could imagine, yet they, without sorry or self-pity, were often wounded and continued the fight for freedom.
The episode was extremely graphic, but how else can you tell a story about war without being brutally honest and not sheltering the viewers from the real pain, suffering and tension these young people dealt with on a daily basis? It’s not too late to turn on HBO on Sunday nights and learn what real heroes we have amongst us. We should never forget the sacrifices our elders have made for our safety, security and the freedoms we often take for granted.
“The Pacific” is a masterfully acted, produced and written drama that may be instrumental to bringing the television miniseries genre back to life. Sunday night’s episode was perhaps more emotional and thought-provoking than the previous episodes. This is truly a drama that continues to show improvement.
Photograph Courtesy: David James/HBO