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Taking Chance: Honor to Fallen Soldiers

Having the opportunity to show the entire world a movie is a great honor. For at least ninety minutes I would need to keep the entire world engaged. A world of different religions, origins, class, and age. From people in developing countries to important figures, all would be viewing my selection. A movie so moving that those who are visually impaired will be able to grasp the beautiful message through dialogue, musical arrangements, and ambient audio. The movie that I have chosen to show the entire world is Taking Chance directed by Ross Katz, starring Kevin Bacon. This movie selection helped me to further see just how honorable military figures are and I think it is crucial to show to the world because everyone has someone fighting for them.

My first viewing of this movie was during my senior year of high school in my English class. The facial expressions I saw from the students leaving my English teacher’s class prior to mine were solemn. In honor of Memorial Day, my teacher explained that she showed this film every year to her students. I never thought that a movie shown in high school would leave such a lasting impression on me. It would encourage many to take time out of their day to thank a soldier.

Taking Chance follows a volunteer military escort officer whose duty is to take a fallen soldier back to his home state for a proper burial. The movie pulls at the viewer’s emotions because they are shown a glimpse of the process of escorting a fallen soldier. One beautifully executed scene depicts how the fallen soldiers are groomed and prepared for their casket. The soldiers were handled very delicately and worked on for hours in the deepest respect, whether the funeral was going to display an open casket or not. Another scene that particularly stood out to me was when dog tags were being scrubbed free of blood and later given to the family. This scene alone was able to depict the history of the battle the fallen soldier had fought. Like other people around the world, there is someone that is fighting for us or has in the past. Right away I was uncomfortable because I kept thinking, “What if that had been my dad, or grandpa? What if they had not made it?” There will always be someone there to protect the weak which is why I feel this would pertain to everyone around the world because often times we take soldiers for granted. A recurring scene in the movie is the honor rendered for the fallen marine when the draped casket was boarding and disembarking planes not only from his escort but also passersby. In these instances, the viewers would feel a sense a pride for their fallen soldiers and great respect.

The most heart-wrenching part of this film was the funeral procession that formed on the highway when people realized the hearse is for a fallen soldier. Car after car would turn on their high beams and follow slowly behind in honor of the soldier. I looked across the classroom, several students biting their lips, others with obvious red faces and watery eyes. It was good to know that I wasn’t the only one. Not one person was left untouched by this scene. I feel the same emotions when veterans are asked to stand in honor at events and I am overwhelmed with pride when I see my father stand beside me out of a select few.

I would choose to show Taking Chance to the whole world because it brings to light aspects of a soldier's death that many people take for granted. Additionally, this movie is set apart from anything like it due to the director's choice to omit graphic scenes and still be able to capture just how hard everyone’s soldiers fight for them. The movie takes its viewers to the core of military casualties from a perspective that isn’t talked about much: the aftermath of casualties. No matter what part of the world, or what someone’s class standing is, there is always someone fighting for you.

 

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