All the men in my family are big history buffs. I, on the other hand, only passed Year 13 History because of my superpower that enables me to pull well-constructed sentences out of my butt, not because of my ability to remember when King George the Whateverth beheaded someone.
But despite my ignorance, war films have always resonated with me. The war films I’ve seen are almost always based on true events – events that I have been incredibly blessed to have avoided thus far in life, and pray that I will continue to do so forever. I know plenty of people who refuse to watch war films because they are so frighteningly real. But I think it’s my obligation to watch these kinds of films to remind myself of the harrowing things that have happened in the past that I should never forget, and the harrowing things that are happening right now in many countries around the world that somehow, only by God’s grace, are so far away from my reality.
Sometimes I wonder why God let me live the life I’m living. Like, why wasn’t I born in 1942 while my father was out defending his country and potentially never return home to meet me, or why wasn’t I born 20 years earlier and it be my husband out there instead? Why don’t I live in Syria where suicide bombers destroy the futures of innocent children every single day? Why wasn’t I one of those men trying to escape the beaches of Dunkirk?
Not that I’m complaining. There is no way I’d voluntarily exchange places with one of those men (the men at Dunkirk in France, I mean. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at hanging out with Harry Styles in Dunkirk the movie). But I guess that’s kind of the point. In World War II, if you were eligible to fight, you went to war. You just did. Today millions of people live – no, attempt to survive – in the middle of other people’s wars because they just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
All this to say that I am incredibly thankful that I live in New Zealand. Yes, we have ridiculous housing issues and questionable politics, but we’re safe. And I thank my lucky stars for that.