This film bored me. But for its time, I’m sure it affected many Americans. The movie follows the lives of three servicemen returning home after WW II has ended. Not everything was peachy–nightmares continued, pride got in the way of love, and couples grew apart. But there is a happy ending, and that’s always nice. I didn’t think the film affected me at all. I was wrong.
Driving around town tonight, I felt like listening to some Dixie Chicks. So I put in my mp3 of bluegrass music and found their folder. Think what you will about this Texas Trio and their political views, but their song “Travling Soldier” is moving. Those who know me will say that it doesn’t take much to make me cry, despite my best efforts to pretend I’m heartless. But as I listened–really listened–to the lyrics of a song I’ve heard a million times, I choked up.
I thought back to “The Best Years of Our Lives”, and how my own grandparents fought in WW II, and my dad’s military service, and those serving right now in the Middle East, and I was completely overcome by what people do for us. It’s amazing to me what people are willing to do when it comes to duty. I’m not articulating this very well, probably because I’m writing this after 6 hours of scrapbooking, but if you want to gain appreciation for veterans in our country, read “Once Upon A Town” about the North Platte Canteen. Or, watch “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Either will help you realize just how difficult it can be for veterans to adjust to life at home, and help you appreciate the depth of what they do for our country.