Friday, March 5, 2010

Tom Hanks Talks about THE PACIFIC

"We've elected a wise calm man who wants to get things done" Tom Hanks on President Barack Obama.

"You are America's history teacher".....Mike Barnicle on Tom Hanks.

Actor, director, producer, activist, and historian; Tom Hanks is a man who wears a lot of hats. On the Friday (March 5th) edition of MSNBC's MORNING JOE Hanks joined hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, along with guest panelists Tom Brokaw and Mike Barnicle, on a discussion about his latest project; The Pacific, premiering March 14th on HBO.

As with Band of Brothers and John Adams, Hanks serves as a co-executive producer (along with Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman)on this ten part mini-series about the United States in the Pacific theater of World War II. Hanks, on the cover of the latest TIME magazine, has become "America's History Teacher" with his entertaining and in depth looks at subjects and people who often get minimal coverage in the textbooks found in America's schools.

The discussion moved on to today's political world, the lack of anything getting done in Congress....and the pride of some Congressional members in that fact...and of the first year of the presidency of Barack Obama.

Interesting stuff which was wisely extended over two segments.

I often thought that the fighting men in the Pacific during World War II unfortunately took a back seat in our collective memory to those who fought against Hitler's Germany. As brought out in the discussion on MORNING JOE at least in Europe there was (to some degree) regard for military rules of the Pacific, there was none. In the Pacific race was a core of the fight, on both the Japanese and Allied sides, and often there was no surrender, only the slaughter of all who lost.

And as dramatic, traumatic, and heroic as the Normandy Invasion was for the Allies on June 6, 1944 I can't help but think of America's soldiers and Marines who had to engage in amphibious landings again and again and again while spending nearly four years of "island hopping" as they fought their way to the Japanese homeland.

They were some special, incredible, and brave Americans.....patriots who went home after it was over and back to their lives.

Everyone one of us alive today is in their debt.

And while The History Channel continues to morph evermore to a shlockey history-reality show hybrid, Hanks and HBO continue to come up with compelling historical dramas....and I salute them for doing so.

I'm looking forward very much to the premiere of The Pacific.

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