One of the most poignant scenes in recent cinematic history is when the camera pans up from the tank in the film Fury, and you see the hundreds of scattered German bodies around a single Allied tank.
To give some background, the American tank crew (led by Brad Pitt, who else?) were ordered to hold a crossroads to stop a huge German SS battalion from getting to a supply chain of Allied medical and support personnel. Their tank “Fury” was disabled by a landmine, so they had the decision to leave the civilians to certain death or do their best to stop the Germans in their tracks.
For the five-man tank crew, the decision to stay and fight was in the best Hollywood tradition, but it captures the heroism of war and what people are prepared to do to when they believe in a cause (or hate a cause – in this case the Wafffen SS). Much of the action in Fury was based around real-life accounts of events in the Second World War, and I would like to briefly remember those who perished. May they rest in peace.
With the utmost respect to those who laid down our lives to defend us, I would like to focus on the one quality of any solider that continues to leave me in awe whenever I think about our guys defending our freedom all over the world. From the elimination of Osama bin Laden to the current fight with Islamic State, they are determined to “get it done.” They won’t stop until it is done.
I sometimes wish that, in my own little way, I could have a little more of this determination in my life. I profusely apologise for the glib comparison with someone who is putting their life on the line, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the same thing – how much do you believe in your cause?
How many of us are truly passionate about what we do? Who keeps going through the bad days and the good? How many of us are glad of an excuse to give up or to take an easier path? The answer I would guess is most of us, as unlike the amazing heroes who fight our battles for us, we are “only human” after all.
Am I saying that to be human is to be fallible, well, yes, I probably am? We all make mistakes, we all let people down, and we all fail – with varying regularity. The key for me about determination is the will power to keep going until the very last moment, to keep believing that you can do it until that fallibility overtakes you at the very last minute. However, there is always the chance that it might not overtake you.
There was one American survivor of the Fury tank battle. Everyone has the chance to be superhuman if they are determined enough. The odds may be stacked against you, but if you have courage in the face of adversity, anything is possible.
Written by Lee Narraway and edited by Paul Drury
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