Remembering D-Day, a Review of Band of Brothers

On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline. More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded, but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.

In 2001 HBO aired a ten part mini series telling the story of E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division.

I know that this series came out over a decade ago, but since today is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion and also since in August I will be joining the 101st Airborne Division, this review seemed appropriate.

The mini series is based on a book written by Stephen Ambrose. It follows the men of E(Easy) Company from their training in Toccoa, Georgia, through D-Day, Operation Market Garden, the siege of Bastogne, and through the end of the War. It had an amazing cast, including Damien Lewis, Ron Livingston, Donnie Wahlberg and many many more. The project was largely developed by Tom Hanks with help from Steven Spielberg(the two had recently worked together on Saving Private Ryan, a film set during WWII).

This mini series drew me in, from the beginning. And this was before I had joined the military. Your heart rises with each victory and falls with each defeat. Tom Hanks admitted that it was not perfectly accurate, certain tings were changed to fit into the plot. However by most accounts the film is extremely accurate. The actors often spoke with the men they were portraying. It is a truly wonderful, enjoyable, and educational piece of entertainment. You will most likely laugh and cry. I highly recommend watching it if you have never seen it, or even if you have seen it. It’s just that good.

One of the things I also liked about the series is that at the beginning of each episode it had interview footage from some of the surviving members of Easy Company. They would give their insight into what happened. It is important to remember that this mini series depicts actual events that happened to real people. Often we enjoy escaping to far away lands and reading of wizards, dragons, aliens, and superheroes. Sometimes, however, it is important to remember that real people have died so that we have the freedom to do so.

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