In 1945 John Huston, who had just directed The Maltese Falcon, produced a documentary about the Allies’ fight to break through the German army’s “Winter Line” in southern Italy.
The film was called The Battle of San Pietro. It documented the retaking of a single, heavily defended town, and covered the events of just nine days.1
But unlike the newsreels and war dramas of the time, Huston told the story with bleak realism, including close up shots of casualties. Four hundred Allied troops were killed and another 800 were wounded while attacking fortified positions that had the higher ground.
Initially, the US Army delayed release of the film, and some accused Huston of being anti-war. The director, who was later decorated and earned the rank of major, responded that if he ever made a pro-war film, he should be shot.
General George Marshall came to the film’s defense. He said that because of its gritty realism and portrayal of death, it would inspire soldiers to take their training more seriously.
Memorial Day is our annual reminder of the grimness of war. While we celebrate when our military conducts a successful operation, we must remember the high cost that many of our soldiers have paid.
Unfortunately, America is starting to forget the reason for this day of remembrance.
A recent poll conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the University of Phoenix found that 57% of adults polled did not know that Memorial Day is a holiday honoring those who died in service while in the US Armed Forces. Just 46% of respondents knew that Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May. And half had not heard of the term “Gold Star Family”—which is a family that has lost a loved one in military service.2
“For many Americans, Memorial Day is a much needed day off to relax and enjoy their family,” says Brian Ishmael, a former US Army sergeant and senior director of the University of Phoenix Office of Military and Veteran Affairs. “For me as a combat veteran and for military members and their families, this day holds great significance. Not everyone I served with was fortunate enough to return home.”
There are several appropriate ways to honor this holiday. You can fly the flag to show your support. If you know a veteran, you can ask if they are willing to share about their experiences while serving. And on Memorial Day, you can take a moment to pause with those you are enjoying the holiday with and reflect for a moment on the true meaning of the day.
We wish you a meaningful Memorial Day and hope that you get to enjoy the freedom that others have paid for.
If you ever have any questions about your investments or retirement plans, please feel free to give me a call at 801-545-0696.
Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc.
11576 S State Street, Bldg. 1002
Draper, UT 84020
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