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TV Review: WWII IN HD: THE AIR WAR
** Almighty God, Our Sons **
Quality: * * * * Acceptability: -1
RELEASE: November 10, 2010 on The History Channel
TIME: 100 minutes
STARRING: The Voices of Rob Lowe, Sean Astin, Chris O’Donnell, Elijah Wood, and Casey Affleck
DIRECTOR: Sammy Jackson
PRODUCER: Liz Reph with FIELD PRODUCER: Michael S. Emerson
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Lou Reda, Scott L. Reda
WRITER: Liz Reph
BASED ON THE NOVEL/PLAY BY: N/A
DISTRIBUTOR: The History Channel
CONTENT: (CC, BBB, PPP, LL, VV, A, D) Strong Christian worldview opening with FDR’s D-Day prayer, “Almighty God,” other overt mentions of prayer, very strong moral, patriotic tales of heroism, valor and extraordinary deeds to free the world from National socialism; 14 obscenities and four very light profanities; strong wartime documentary footage of violence and discussions of violence, people who have been burned, planes explode, people shot at, bombings; no sex; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, nothing else objectionable.
INTENDED AUDIENCE: Older children to adults
REVIEWER: Dr. Ted Baehr
REVIEW: WWII IN HD: THE AIR WAR opens with President Roosevelt’s prayer on DVD talking about America’s Christian faith. Then, this excellent, two part series shows in vivid documentary footage the incredibly heroic story of the American Eighth Air Force’s bloody battle to defeat the German Luftwaffe so that the Allied troops could land on the Normandy beaches on D-Day June 4, 1944.
One month after Pearl Harbor the Army’s Eighth Air Force was formed with seven men and no planes. For those of you too young to remember, the Air Force was a division of the Army during World Wart II. Eventually, the Eighth Air Force will lose 26,000 men trying to clear the skies over Europe of the Luftwaffe so the Allied troops can free Europe from Hitler’s National Socialism. The program focuses on the memories of four men intimately involved in the Air Force. Joe Arminini, who’s voiced by Casey Affleck, Steve “The Greek” Pisanos, voiced by Sean Astin, John Gibbons, voiced by Chris O’Donnell, and Andy Rooney, the famous reporter voiced by Elijah Wood. All of these men are also interviewed in the present. Through the recollections of each one, the viewer comes to understand the tremendous price paid to rescue Europe. In the beginning, they were hopelessly outmatched. Eventually, they sent in the famous B-17 flying fortresses as targets so that the P47 Thunderbolts and the P51 Mustangs could shoot down the German airplanes. There are heart-rending stories throughout of best friends lost in battle, men who had to be sacrificed for others to survive. Some of these stories are quite vivid and painful.
FDR’s famous prayer is repeated several times in the movie. John Gibbons and Steve Pisanos both mention prayer. Joe Arminini mentions it was a miracle he survived. The number of people who sacrificed themselves, it should be noted that more men died in the Eighth Air Force than Marines in the entire World War II campaign in Europe. This is absolutely incredible.
Lou Reda has been producing historical documentaries about the various modern wars for many years. Each one of his programs gets better and better. He’s acquired some of the most incredible footage in the world covering everything from the Spanish American War to the present. Some of the footage in this program has not been seen since the 1940s. This is so intriguing that even liberal critics have found the series fascinating.
These programs are extremely important to understand what it means to be a free nation, what it means to be an American, and why we have to fight for our freedom. THE AIR WAR is not for very little children, because of some of the documentary footage and some of the salty language. However, adolescents and older children should watch this wonderful program.
Here is Franklin Roosevelt’s prayer, June 6, 1944 for D-Day:
“Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
“Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
“They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
“They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest–until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
“For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
“Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
“And for us at home–fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them–help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
“Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
“Give us strength, too–strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
“And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
“And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment–let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
“With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace–a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
“Thy will be done, Almighty God.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt–June 6, 1944
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