Posts Tagged ‘Band of Brothers’

HBO starts a new series tonight that I’ve been anticipating for a while now.  The Pacific is a 10-part series that follows the path of several soldiers as they fight in the Pacific theatre of World War II

It’s in the same vein as Band of Brothers, which  was set in WW II Europe, and set the standard for films of the sort with it’s fast paced action and dynamic camera work that gave one a true sense of the danger and the brutal reality of the situation.  The Pacific is produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks who also produced Band of Brothers.  They wanted to honor the soldiers who fought in the Pacific by giving their stories the same careful treatment in the telling that they did with Band of Brothers.

I doubt that anyone will be greatly disappointed. 

When I saw the image above I was instantly hit with the feeling that one gets from looking at one of the nightmare landscapes of Hieronymous Bosch which I suppose is only fitting.  I can’t fully imagine what it must have taken to persevere through the extreme hardships of the  campaigns on those islands.   It must have literally felt like hell on earth , a neverending carousel of horror and terror.  Those who survived deserve every honor they received and more.

They certainly have my respect…

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CurraheeThis is a small painting from a few years back that is titled Currahee, a word I first heard in the WW II series, Band of Brothers .  It is a Cherokee word that means “stand alone” and it immediately struck me as a real word with some sort of innate power.  It was the battle cry for the 101st Airborne Division, the group of troops portrayed so well in Band of Brothers.  It stands for a sense of self-dependence with which I can identify so felt a connection with the word and my paintings, which are often primarily about the idea of standing alone.

The reason I mention this is that I recently saw a segment on CBS news about a soldier severely injured in Iraq, losing both his legs and suffering brain injuries which left him totally unresponsive. Back here in the States in the hospital, the soldier was visited by General David Petraeus who talked with the young man and after a bit, getting no response, turned to leave.  He turned back and yelled out the word.  Currahee.

The soldier immediately tried to sit up, trying to utter the word.  

Amazing.  Since then his progress has been remarkable and he is walking with the aid of two prosthetic legs and is speaking.  He recently appeared with Petraeus at, I believe, the New Jersey Hall of Fame.   You can see the original story here.

I am always in awe of the power of certain words and icons, how we place such personal meaning to them that they become ingrained in us, triggering instant emotion at the mere mention.  That is real power.


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