In honor of the Oscars, which were just awarded this past weekend, it seemed appropriate to begin our discussion of movies that inspire and inform with this year’s winner for Best Picture, The King’s Speech.
Now, you might be thinking, “What does The King’s Speech have to do with thegratitudecampaign?” Simply put, it’s about service. It’s no accident that I tend to refer to active personnel and Veterans as “those who serve”. These men and women have chosen to serve their fellow man by defending their freedom and security. As a benefit of their service, the rest of us enjoy the freedom and security to be who we want to be, and do what we want to do. That is no small gift. And in many cases, these men and women sacrifice themselves – who they are, if not their lives themselves – in order to give us that gift.
In The King’s Speech, Colin Firth shows us the great struggle that King George VI had to overcome a life-long stammering problem in order to be able just to speak to his people.
For those who haven’t studied WWII, by 1940 the British people found themselves alone after the fall of France to the Germans. They were isolated on their little island, with German U-Boats sinking hundreds of ships bringing much needed food and supplies to the UK. The only thing that stood between them and German invasion was the English Channel, and a handful of RAF pilots. London was bombed daily and indiscriminately. Thousands of civilians were killed. And those who weren’t killed lived under constant threat, dwindling supplies, and scarce food. I wonder sometimes if we Americans, so secure in our homeland for so long, could survive the same kind of ordeal.
Amidst all of this, King George VI, who never really wanted to be king at all, was called to lead his people. With the advent of radio, his most powerful weapon would have to be his voice – the one thing that he had o faith in at all. With his country at war, and his countrymen dying around him, he had to face his biggest fears, ask for help, embrace the work to overcome his challenges, and speak to his people to inspire them to persevere. Although he wasn’t on the front lines, King George VI understood what his people needed from him most. He knew the way in which way he could best serve them. And he did what he had to do to support his people.
This is the kind of service that every man and woman in our armed forces provides, every day. Doing their part, at great risk and sacrifice, so that we might all be free to do what we want to do, and be who we want to be. Some sacrifice more than others; and some have to overcome greater obstacles than others in order to serve. But they all do their part, and stand ready to answer the call.
The King’s Speech informs and inspires. It’s about Service.