World History Extra Credit
We Were Soldiers: Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a nightmare for many soldiers. It re-defined the meaning of war to an entire generation. As the conflict grew, it became known around the world that this was a war that could not be won. After this was realized by America the main focus became to get out instead of winning. In the movie We Were Soldiers, by Randall Wallace, a true account of the first major battle in the Vietnam War. At the beginning of the film he introduces to us many of the soldiers and their families. Wallace exemplifies two very fundamental concepts that show up throughout this film. One shows the best and worst of humanity by illustrating to us that war is a tool for the powerful and that just because someone is your enemy does not make them evil. Even though they were fighting each other for different reasons and dying for different countries, both sides were human and their deaths brought grief and sadness to someone.
Early in the movie Lt. Hal Moore, is portrayed more as a husband and father than as a soldier. His wife Julie shows support and respect for her husband and job. There were many small scenes in the movie that gave an idealistic sense of realism throughout the war. One such scene is when Cecil Moore’s youngest daughter, asks her father what is a war? Moore tries to come up with a simple answer, but when he realizes that war is not simple he tells her what war actually is. Another scene which dramatizes the realism of racism during that time is when Alma Givens explains to one of the wives that her husband gives respect only to those who earned it and not even racism can take that away from him. Another interesting aspect about this film is that Hal Moore took the leading role in being a father-like figure to all his troops when they went into battle, but also Julie Moore became a leader whenever there was grieving and sadness upon the wives that had lost their husbands. She was always there to support the wives and help them through the tough times.
In 1965, Lt. Hal Moore is the leader of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry. Moore is assigned to lead his men into battle in the Ia Drang Valley, commonly known as 'The Valley of Death'. This would be the first major battle between American and North Vietnamese soldiers. Four-hundred of Moore's men were drawn into an ambush, trapped for many days, outnumbered by the Vietnamese. Instead of giving up and retreating, they stayed and fought to the end. Moore's commanding officer Sgt. Major Plumer is a cocky drill sergeant who is by Moore's side most of the battle. Although early on he seems to be incapable of any outward sign of emotion, Plumer did show some grief and sadness in one of the last scenes of the movie when many of his men had died. Farther along into the battle, we are introduced to another character, Joe Galloway. During