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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor and War Horse

It seemed appropriate that I would attend a screening of War Horse on the eve of Pearl Harbor Day. Different wars but the same results: many people died and many others lived their entire lives with the pain and memories of war.

As the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor approached, I thought about the survivors I’ve met over the years. For those in Hawaii in the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, the Japanese attack snatched away any prospect of ordinary lives. I’ve tried to imagine what people must have felt that morning when the first bombs fell; the disbelief, fear, chaos, shock and the surge of adrenaline that must have flowed through their veins.
Some never lived past the first emotions while others survived to find those emotions etched deep in their souls. That one morning defined their lives.

The movie War Horse brought that home. The Steven Spielberg film, adapted from the novel of the same name by Michael Morpurgo, brings a reality to war through the story of a young man and his horse. Raised in rural England, young Albert trains the horse he names Joey. When they are parted by war, we follow their separate journeys.  Through them we experience the horror and tragedy that the war brought to both sides of the conflict. Amidst the destruction, we witness man and animal’s love and friendship.
In remembering Pearl Harbor, we pay tribute to the men and women who died and those who lived through that momentous moment in history. We try to understand the friendships and lives torn apart that morning and throughout the war.

War brings the same results to those involved no matter the time, the place or the participants. My hope is that we always remember and pay respect to those who have served their country, especially those whom fate placed in combat situations.
For my review of War Horse, visit


  1. Pat,

    This is a beautiful essay and so fitting for Pearl Harbor Day. I'm not a big movie goer, but I saw the add for this movie and it's on my list to see. I'm already in love with this horse in the movie just by reading your blog.

  2. Thanks, Kathy. You'll love War Horse but take some Kleenex. The movie really brings to life what it took to fight a war at that time and I had never given a thought to the toll it took on the horses that pulled the cannons and ammunition.

    Yes, you will be in love with the horse!