Before I shut off the computer and go home for the long weekend, I’d like to offer a reminder to anybody interested that HBO will be airing ‘Taking Chance’ Sunday night at 9pm EST
. I know all of us will be thinking about and thanking our friends and loved ones, with us still or not, who are serving or have served in defense of our country this weekend. There are two reasons I highly recommend ‘Taking Chance’ to you all. First, it is an extremely powerful, well written, and acted, true story of an American families sacrifice.
The other reason is that within this story being told by a Marine military escort, we see in the mirror another story that plays out every day, right now, and it goes largely unacknowledged. You get the idea of what I’m talking about the first time our Marine notices the landscaping crew working around the building in which Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps’s body is being loaded into the hearse for the first portion of his journey home. The simple act of reverence this crew of strangers pays as they stop working, remove their hats, and stand at attention is profound.
We live in a time of extreme cynicism and doubt. Our media purveyors exploit this and never leave alone an opportunity to ‘expose’ us to all the many wrongs that exist in America today. As similar scenarios akin to what Chance’s Marine escort witnesses on the first day of journey play out throughout the film, what is affirmed for me is a rejection of the portrait our media paints of us Americans, that we are in fact an overwhelmingly decent people. It affirms for me a continued rejection of doom saying prognosticators and loud mouth talking heads that we simply give far too much weight.
American’s are NOT those people, they are the ramp workers at the airport who stop and remove their hats, they are the anonymous drivers of the cars who turn on their headlights and get in line behind a military hearse. They offer a kind word to a soldier in uniform at an airport, pay for a soldiers meal, offer him/her their seat. You cynics go ahead and mock all you want. While I’ve known my fill of folks to the contrary in my life, it’s this overwhelming majority of people I speak of above that I recognize as American.
Watch this film if you can and a heartfelt thank you from the Phillips family for all those who are serving and have served, with us still, or not.