Major Richard Winters passed away 8 years ago today. He is the real life hero that we all have come to know as the charismatic and compassionate commander of Easy Company in Band of Brothers. His obituary in Washington Post makes a note about his leadership through a letter written by Floyd Talbert, one of his soldiers, to thank Major Winters for his loyalty and leadership in the war:
“You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you. I would follow you into hell.”
After the war, Major Winters led a quiet and peaceful life on his farm in Fredericksburg and in his home in Hershey, Pennsylvania until Band of Brothers — the book as well as the TV series — put him into the international spotlight. He was a true WWII hero who was never comfortable being called one. When asked if he was a hero, he liked to answer the way his WWII buddy Mike Ranney did to his grandson: “No, but I served in a company of heroes.” This became a major tagline in Band of Brothers.
Today is Veterans Day – a day of honoring all men and women that served in the United States armed forces. And it gives us a great opportunity to salute all war heroes, and in particular Major Dick Winters and Easy Company.
I know a thing or two about war. My day job is to study and understand war. I have written academic articles on war, I have taught on war… and even though I can write about war for pages and talk about it for hours as a scholar, the human cost of war is still incomprehensible to me.
Let me take a moment and look at my own family. My maternal grandmother never knew her father because he was a soldier in WWI in the Eastern Front in Turkey, and he literally froze because of the cold as he fought against the Russians. My paternal grandmother never knew her father, either; because he was also a soldier in WWI and was killed by a shrapnel in Gallipoli as he fought against the Anzacs. Continue reading “We Salute Major Dick Winters – The Rank and The Man – on Veterans Day”
Today’s blog post is coming from a very special lady. Linda has been running The Friends of Major Dick Winters Facebook Page for years and she is incredibly devoted to real-life WWII heroes. She regularly attends the reunions held on the anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with Band of Brothers actors and WWII veterans. Damian knows Linda well and appreciates her hard work honoring Major Dick Winters and all WWII veterans. You can read Linda’s wonderful story about how she became a Damian Lewis fan here!
This summer Linda had the pleasure of visiting some important Band of Brothers filming locations in Switzerland. I kindly asked her if she would consider writing about her trip for us and she said YES! And we are extremely thrilled that we are sharing Linda’s travels in the footsteps of Steven Spielberg filming Band of Brothers in our week-long BoB 17th Anniversary celebration!
I’ve always known this, that’s why I have never watched it. I’d start thinking about the subject matter, remember photo stills of the scenes I’ve glimpsed over the years, and just KNEW it would be nightmare city for me. You can call me delicate, call me a wuss, I don’t really care. This show? This show is not for me.
But I need to be clear: I do not want, for one moment, for my thoughts on war or my inability to sit through a show this intense, to be mistaken for criticism or ingratitude for the sacrifices made by so many. I am a descendant of men and women who served, and I benefit every day of my life because of those who went before me. I would never disparage their time spent defending our country, and their great sacrifices in doing so. Continue reading “I finally watched Damian Lewis in Band of Brothers”