Monday, November 12, 2007

American Anthem

I've sort of been obsessed lately with the new Ken Burns documentary, The War. Part of my interest stems from my fear of my oral exams covering all of American history and a serious need to utilize even my non-reading time to inhale all the history I don't know. So watching documentaries has suddenly become a part of my personal entertainment and date nights.

Last week I went to a lecture at the State Department with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, producers of The War. They talked a bit about making the film, then they showed a couple of montages about Iwo Jima, the Battle of the Bulge, opening several concentration camps, etc. The most touching, though, was the piece with Norah Jones singing "American Anthem" set to photos and live film.

The words keep running through my head... "Let them say of me, I was one who believed." I loved listening to people comment about the personal connections they felt to the War--their fathers and uncles had served, and they gained a new understanding not only of their own family, but of their country and their civic responsibility and patriotism. I loved being in that auditorium with those people who have dedicated their lives to the diplomatic mission of the United States. Amazing people doing amazing things.

And in the spirit of Jennifer Brinkerhoff, Happy Veteran's Day.


Jennifer said...

I've heard about this PBs show and REALLY want to see it. I saw it at Costco yesterday. is it worth buying?

Hope your holiday was everything you wanted it to be. THOSE were the good ol' days.

Lael said...

I too have been fascinated by that series ... it has really opened my eyes to the experience that generation had. I began to realize the difficulty of sharing such a painful experience, and the catch 22 of that ... not wanting to relive the pain, and wanting your kids to understand what you went through.

Thanks to Ken Burns for giving me a bit of an education. I give my heart to the generation that lived through hell for their ideals.