Essay, Research Paper: Saving Private Ryan


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June 6, 1944. Military forces converge on the beaches of Normandy for one of the
most decisive battles of World War Two. America would call this a victory.
History would call it D-Day. But for Captain Miller and his squad of young
soldiers, the day after the landing on Omaha Beach would change all of there
lives. They would get a special order from Washington ordering them to go on a
personnel mission to save one life. One soldier lost three of his brothers in
combat. One on Omaha Beach, one on Utah Beach, and the other in New Guinea. They
realize this is not a simple mission to save a life but a test of their honor
and duty. Their sole obsession-and their last hope for redemption. Upon arriving
at Omaha Beach Captain Miller was faced with many problems. The Germans were
awaiting the arrival of the American forces and attacked the ships landing on
the beach before the troops were even able to exit the boats. Many of Millers
men were lost on the beach along with many men from many other companies. Miller
lead his mean along a wall on the beach and over took German forces to escape
with most of this troop in tact. What he didn’t realize was that on of the men
lost on the beach was a Private Ryan. Captain Miller continued to lead his men
into enemy territory despite the loss of some of his men. He then reached a
friendly base set up. Upon arriving at the base he received orders that his
mission would be changing. He was told of the Private Ryan that died at the
Omaha beach invasion. He was also told of the other two Ryan boys from Iowa that
had already died in the war. He wasn’t really sure why he was being told this.
Then the worst part came. He was ordered to try to find the one remaining Ryan
brother. No one was sure where he was or if he was even alive. He was told of an
earlier incident where three brothers from Iowa had all been killed in the war
and the mother was left alone. The United States army was now ready to risk the
lived of Captain Miller and seven of his men to try and save this one man just
so his mother wouldn’t have to lose her only remaining son. To Captain Miller
this seemed a little extreme. Think of our mothers thought Miller and his men.
They had no choice though, they were under orders. Along the way Millers company
would stop by another American base to pick up an American soldier to translate
to the German civilians they would meet along the way. They traveled to may
abandoned and demolished remains of what used to be towns in search of Private
Ryan. Miller lost many of his men along the way during encounters with German
paratroopers and hidden German machine gun nests. But despite loosing many men
they were able to continue. The met remaining parts of an American Paratrooping
unit along the way to somewhat replenish their forces. But the paratroopers
weren’t in much better shape than Millers bunch. They continued in search of
Ryan and finally found him in a town on the river. He was in a patchwork
infantry trying to prevent the Germans from taking a bridge that was vital to
the strategies of the United States Army. Private Ryan wouldn’t leave with
Miller though, he insisted on staying and fighting the Germans. He didn’t want
to be remembered as a coward. Miller agreed, and his men, battered and beaten,
also agreed to stay and fight one last fight before going home. They managed to
hold off the German advances until help arrived. They again lost many men in
this effort but Private Ryan survived. Captain Miller has reached his goal and
Ryan would make it home. I thought this was a very good book. I thought it made
a very good point about some of the difficult decisions facing the men in the
middle of a hostile environment in another country and the bravery shown by many
men in the heat of battle. I can’t say if I were placed in the same position
if I would be able to do the same thing as some of those men. To risk the lives
of several men to save the life of one is a very difficult decision to make.
Especially when no one even knew if Private Ryan had even made it off the beach
alive or if he was killed in battle. I believe that if I were one of the men
with the mission of saving one man just because his the U.S. Army didn’t want
to tell his mother, I would have a serious problem with obeying those orders.
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