I watched, “Hacksaw Ridge” this week. It was probably the best – most realistic – Christian World War II story ever told. I do not generally do movie reviews, I leave that for the critics, but I feel that this needs to be put out there! Whereas; I am not a pacifist, I do see the point of Desmond Doss’ pacifism, his profound love for Christ and his inner passion for following the Laws of God.
Make no mistake. This is a WAR film. It is not for the weak of stomach or faint of heart. It is very realistic and at times downright gory. Some may argue that it is overly gory, but that being said it is war. War is hell. War is unforgivable. You take one wrong step and you do not have a second step. The attention to detail in this movie with sound, special effects, and the story detail were fantastic. It creates an overall ambience of what it means to be a team, and to be a member of a combat unit. It especially makes you realize what it means to be ostracized for your beliefs.
Especially in today’s world where everyone is getting uptight about belief systems.
The world can take a good look at Private Doss and take a lesson from it. Mr. Doss had the ability to fight back and beat those that persecuted him. Not only physically, but verbally as well; yet, he stayed quite. He stayed his course when it was not easy to do so. In the face of adversity, he kept his composure. He knew what he had to do, and that was not falter from his belief. He put the focus on God and kept that the main drive in his life. His Bible, given to him by his fiancée, was never far from his side. The film made it very clear that the two things that he loved more than anything was God, and his soon-to-be wife.
His steadfast courage rivals any Infantryman that I have ever met, and has proven what and how Medics are in the military (well most of them). Private Desmond Doss went into combat with no weapon. Would not touch a gun to kill. Yet, he went into the Lion’s Den (Hacksaw Ridge) to save lives; furthermore, he went in knowing that God would provide safety and security from the Japanese defenders. Even after the frontlines had been run through and all that was left was Doc Doss: he didn’t waiver, he didn’t misstep. He prayed!
“Dear God, help me get one more?!”
“Just one more…”
“Just one more…”
Over and over again: Mr. Doss was saving lives. He saved lies. Desmond called on the strength of the Lord and was given the courage, the might, and the tenacity to become a hero to the men of his company (and a few Japanese soldiers – that we were told, “Didn’t make it”). He saved the lives of those that had ridiculed him, and told that he would not save the lives of the soldiers. He saved everyone that he could. “Just one more.” That was his mantra, and at the end of the day, he was rewarded for his bravery.
Mr. Doss should be a shining example to who we are as people today. Especially, when the world is creating an air of hostility towards being a Christian. Stay the course. Take the licks that life gives you and keep on going. Showing your true colors. One doesn’t need to be violent to get his point across, nor does he have to fight physically. Keep the fight going spiritually!
Here is Desmond Doss’ Medal of Honor citation:
DOSS, DESMOND T.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Medical Detachment, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Urasoe Mura, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 29 April-21 May 1945. Entered service at: Lynchburg, Va. Birth: Lynchburg, Va. G.O. No.: 97, 1 November 1945.
Citation: He was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machinegun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them 1 by 1 to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands. On 2 May, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and 2 days later he treated 4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave, advancing through a shower of grenades to within 8 yards of enemy forces in a cave’s mouth, where he dressed his comrades’ wounds before making 4 separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety. On 5 May, he unhesitatingly braved enemy shelling and small arms fire to assist an artillery officer. He applied bandages, moved his patient to a spot that offered protection from small arms fire and, while artillery and mortar shells fell close by, painstakingly administered plasma. Later that day, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, Pfc. Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire. On 21 May, in a night attack on high ground near Shuri, he remained in exposed territory while the rest of his company took cover, fearlessly risking the chance that he would be mistaken for an infiltrating Japanese and giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade. Rather than call another aid man from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited 5 hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. The trio was caught in an enemy tank attack and Pfc. Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man. Awaiting the litter bearers’ return, he was again struck, this time suffering a compound fracture of 1 arm. With magnificent fortitude he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station. Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Pfc. Doss saved the lives of many soldiers. His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.