Movie Puts Memorial Day In Focus

Each week, CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer closes "Face The Nation" with a commentary.


I went to see the Pearl Harbor movie this weekend. I was four when the attack happened so I don't remember that. But I was eight going on nine when the war finally ended, so I can remember a lot of it.

How we moved around: because my Dad was part of a team building a bomb factory and then moving again when he got drafted and then moving again when they didn't take him because the war was about over and they weren't taking men with children.

I remember going to four different schools in the first grade and food and gasoline rationing and neighbors who lost people in the war. All our lives were disrupted but we all pitched in, even the kids. We all knew somebody in the Army and what they were doing for us.

And that's the part that bothers me. In this era of peace and the all volunteer army, fewer and fewer of us have any connection to the military. Many Americans no longer even know someone in the service. We need a movie to remind us that young Americans are still out there, for us.

After I saw "Pearl Harbor" I had the same thought I had after seeing "Saving Private Ryan": Would Americans still do what those young Americans did? I don't know but I want to believe we would.

As we left the movie my wife said, "I'm glad we went, it helps me remember Memorial Day is more than the start of summer." Not a bad thought to start the summer -- every summer.


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