At the core, the American citizen soldiers knew the difference between right and wrong, and they didn't want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed. - Author Stephen Ambrose
As a mom, one of my goals is to make sure that my children see what I consider quintessential American movies. Being able to differentiate Julie Andrews from Judy Garland and to compare the strengths of West Side Story with those of Gone with the Wind, I believe, are small details that nonetheless indicate a well-rounded person. The kids do roll their eyes at some of my cinematic recommendations. And if it’s a black and white film? Forget it. This generation wants to see everything in color.
Saving Private Ryan is one of my must-see films, but the content is far too graphic. The opening scene alone, which depicts the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach in horrifically vivid detail, is enough to put the movie toward the bottom of my list. How can I let my children know such violence exists?
Today, as we mark the 76th anniversary of the allied invasion on the shores of Normandy though, not on a film set but against the backdrop of a grim reality—equally unspeakable violence and aggression throughout our country—I wonder if the time might actually be perfect to introduce the older kids to the heroes of June 6, 1944. If there’s one thing Americans agree on, it’s that there aren’t enough heroes, and that too few leaders recognize wrong and commit to making things right, or even to just teaching “right” by doing right.
Here in Massachusetts, within the pro-life movement, we’ve got two opportunities to do right.
First, the Joint Committee on Public Health recently approved a Physician Assisted Suicide bill (HB 1926 and SB 1208). None of the ten prior attempts to pass such a law made it out of committee. But this one has. And if the full legislature votes for it, state sanctioned suicide will be legal here. As MCFL Board member Mark Rollo, MD says, “This is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer. The American Medical Association has strongly rejected it.”
Rollo outlines reasons why legalized doctor-prescribed suicide is worth preventing. “Physicians make mistakes. No law can include a safeguard for this simple fact. Elder abuse will be exacerbated via potential coercion to take suicide pills. Insurance companies will have an incentive to cut costs by denying expensive care and approving the affordable solution of suicide. And the COVID-19 pandemic elicited discussion of rationing of care, putting people with disabilities and the elderly at the end of the line. The same logic can be applied to assisted suicide.”
Please take a moment during the week of June 8 to call the State House and voice your opposition to this bill. The main State House phone number is 617-722-2000.
Second, if you haven’t done so yet, please let your legislator know that you oppose the ROE Act (HB 3320, SB 1209). The current legislative session ends on July 31. So the time is now to make your voice heard on this troublesome, irresponsibly-written piece of legislation that will expand abortion access and endanger our women, girls, and infants.
As Mr. Ambrose reminds us, the brave young men who stormed French beaches 76 years ago today did so because they simply refused to live in a world where wrong prevailed. “So they fought, and won, and we, all of us, living and yet to be born, must be forever profoundly grateful," Ambrose said.
The wrongs before us today are many. We do an injustice to those who risked—or gave—their lives at Normandy if we do nothing to make things right. So inform a friend. Pick up the phone. Show films that matter. Let our kids learn from them so they learn to do right. Even if some among us see scenes of today's world merely as black and white, you and I must project the value of every life, in full color.
Enjoy your weekend.