Watching the new deluxe boxed set of HBO’s excellent World War II series “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” I kept thinking what a great gift this would be for the fighting men of the “greatest generation.”
And then I realized that there aren’t that many of them left.
My own father, a Navy veteran in the Pacific Theater, just turned 90. I’m guessing the youngest combat veterans of the war are at least 85.
Which means that the lasting value of these two series lies not with the men who are their subjects, but with the rest of us, who will learn some moving things about love of country, sacrifice and doing the right thing.
Yeah, that’s kind of a sappy way of putting it, and it may seem incongruous coming from someone who once considered himself a pacifist.
But these monumental TV programs are like nothing we’ve ever seen before, an examination of both combat and the American character spread out on a vast canvas.