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So great a sacrifice


Last updated 4/10/2008 at Noon

As the Higgins boat approached the Normandy shore, the men inside all knew full well what they had signed up for. They all knew the great sacrifice that might have to be paid. As the rear doors opened, the sound of machine guns was all that could be heard. Then explosions. Then the sound of honorable men gasping for their last breath. Men scrambled to make it off the boats, onto the beach and up the cliffs. Many men did not make it. One that did was Captain Miller.

After surviving the Normandy invasion and pressing on into France, Captain Miller was ordered to gather a unit of men and save a marine private named Ryan. Pressing on into France, this motley crew of men encountered one skirmish after another. More sacrifices were needed and taken.

Finding Private Ryan and his unit defending a bridge, Captain Miller told him that he was there to bring him home, but Ryan refused to leave his men. After arguing, Miller and his men agreed to stay for one last stand against the enemy. In doing so, most of Miller’s unit lost their lives. Then it happened. Captain Miller was hit in the chest and fell to the ground. As his last breath left his body, he whispered in the ear to Private Ryan, “Make it worth it.” At that moment, Ryan’s only thoughts were of the great sacrifice that was made for him. Why him? Why was his life somehow worth more than the thousands other men that sacrificed their lives?

Many years later, the elderly Private Ryan stood in front of Miller’s grave site and pondered if he had lived a life worthy of so great a sacrifice. How does a man reconcile such a notion in his mind?

During this Easter season I wonder if “I” am living a life worthy of so great a sacrifice. Has the death and resurrection of Christ changed me? Is my life reflective of the indebtedness that I feel in my soul? I mean, if I didn’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ would my life look any different? Would yours?


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