Last week, Rick and I went with friends to “Red Tails” about the Tuskegee Airmen. Rick and I had both been to the Travis Air Force Base Aviation Museum and spent time in the Tuskegee Airmen exhibit there. These men overcame immense difficulties in order to serve our country, and were one of the most highly decorated units in World War II history.
I liked “Red Tails”, but I kept leaning over and whispering to Rick, “I like the older movie better.” When we got home, we went through our movie collection and found “The Tuskegee Airmen” (1995). Cuba Gooding, Jr. was in that one, too. Other wonderful actors included Lawrence Fishburne, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Allen Payne, Courtney B. Vance and Andre Braugher. It is a more difficult and uncomfortable movie to watch because it deals openly with the bigotry the Tuskegee Airmen faced from instructors and politicians. There were good men of conscience on their side. In the end, it was the intelligence, valor and proven courageous that brought them honor. I hope you will go see “Red Tails” and then find a copy of “The Tuskegee Airmen”. The two together give a better understanding of the times and men who changed them.
Now, I want to know —
When will someone make a movie about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of Japanese-Americans who became the most decorated WWII regiment in U.S. Armed Forces history?
When will someone make a movie about the Los Banos raid in the Philippines in which 2100 American and other nations’ civilian POWs were plucked from behind enemy lines by the cooperative efforts of Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy without loss of a single internee.
Seeing movies of real life, and inspiring and courageous people gives us a better understanding of what our freedom cost.