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Movie depicts how young Marines

became men during WWII

“The Thin Red Line” is a movie about a WWII battle of several platoons of Marines that have been commanded to take an island in the Pacific on which there are several hills that control the valley where a bomber airfield needs to be built.

You can see the fear on the faces of these “green” Marines as they wait on the ship, not knowing what’s ahead of them ashore.

And to top it off, command has no idea of how many Japanese are on the island, weapons, nor gun placements, bunkers with machine guns that they have established. The only thing they know is the colonel told them, this island/hill will be taken at all costs!

What they find are fortified machine guns, many troops and all uphill in the open. What makes this movie interesting is the transformation of these green Marines to hardened Marines within minutes of the first assault. The look on their faces hardened, they are still afraid but realize that they are all in the same mess and must learn to pull together or go down in defeat. To watch out for their comrades, to go the extra yard, take risk and realize that many will die.

In other words, they have become what is known as the American solider. One unit, brothers in arms, watching out for each other.

As they gain control of the hill, there’s no talking, just the Japanese soldiers try to bait them into killing them after being captured, but these Marines can see themselves in their eyes and resist the temptation to kill them, the Japanese are now where they were on the ships coming into shore just days ago.

From young men so afraid they got sick, to taking that island, they became men that day!

Ben Pecora

St. Joseph