In early November, many of us will be focused on the second Tuesday, Election Day, and the implications the poll taken that day will have on the future of Liberty. Most notable is the future composition of the Supreme Court, because the winner of this presidential election will likely remake the High Court for the next quarter-century.
But pause with me to read about an event that reflects infinitely more about the essential spirit of America than the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
On November 4th, there will be a big-screen release starring Andrew Garfield (Amazing Spider-Man) in the lead role. It is an action hero movie, but it will not feature a Marvel Comics character.
“Hacksaw Ridge” is the incredible story of Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss, a screen adaptation by Mel Gibson based on a screenplay that had been relegated to “development hell” for 15 years. The film’s world premiere was earlier this month at the esteemed Venice Film Festival, where it received a 10-minute standing ovation.
So why does a script sit for 15 years and then receive an overwhelming reception by the industry’s leading critics? Because its subject did not have a self-promoting inclination in his body, and the word “hero” is so overused today that its meaning is now a ubiquitous reference to virtually anyone in any uniform.
But this story reaffirms the rightful definition of heroism.
I first met Desmond Doss in 1995 when he was 76 years old. He was a local man whose name wasn’t known to many, even in his small community. He and his wife, Frances, were simple people who lived a simple life on a small farm a few miles south of our family home in east Tennessee.
Desmond was humble and slightly built. He wore thick glasses and was virtually deaf. But he and Frances were warm and welcoming people.
So quiet and unassuming were these two souls that one would never suspect they had been more than five miles from their small homestead. But Desmond and Frances both exhibited a deep and unrelenting resolve rooted in their Christian faith, which became evident when in their presence.
Fifty years before we met, Desmond selflessly demonstrated that faithful resolve in repeated acts of heroism unparalleled among Medal of Honor recipients before or since.
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