The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Memories That Divide Us


It is the pain that keeps on giving and giving.

I watched a movie entitled Last Flag Flying.  It was a story of three veterans from Vietnam.  Like most, their shared memories kept them apart after the war, and they went different ways.  Thirty years later, one lost his son in Iraq, and he sought out his two lost buddies to help him reclaim his son’s body and give him a civilian burial, which they did.  Along the way, they relived some of the manic-depressive behaviors of their combat camaraderie.  They finally touched those common memories again and learned they actually loved each other, as only old soldiers can.

There was one other character, the best friend of the soldier killed in Iraq.  His guilt and his pain was also obvious and crippling.  It is that pain which circulates through each generation and each war.  One line in the movie was “men make wars, but wars make men.”  That may be, but it can also make crippled men, with a bitter, disdainful regard for life.

If you must watch this movie, don’t do it sober!


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