I always try to watch Band of Brothers again around Remembrance Day. It’s so easy to forget the price that so many paid for the freedom we enjoy. Yes the miniseries is entertainment, but it’s also very gritty and realistic compared to the portrayals of war in which it’s all glory. It’s not glorious. It may be necessary at times, but it should never be undertaken lightly.
I’m watching episode four, “The Replacements,” and there’s once scene that always gets me. The paratroopers jump into the Netherlands and liberate the city of Eindhoven. A squad come across a farmer and once they are certain he’s not German, they talk and he gives them some food. His young son comes out of their improvised shelter and sits on the step, looking at the men. The boy is perhaps five years old. One of the troopers goes over to him, and hands him a chocolate bar. He turns it over in his hands, unsure of what to do with it. His father takes it, tears the wrapper from one end and hands it back to him. He gives it one more look before he takes a big bite. A second later, his face erupts into a smile and he takes another big bite.
His father’s smile fades as he turns to the trooper and says, “He never tasted chocolate.”
Like I said, it chokes me up every time.