"It's a hell of a thing, killing a man. You take away all he's got, and all he's ever gonna have." ~ Clint Eastwood as William Munny in the film Unforgiven
Winner of four Academy Awards, half that awarded to Actor-Director Clint Eastwood for best director and best picture, the film Unforgiven stands alone among all other Western films ever made before or since. Critics have called it the Anti-Western film. Meaning, that Clint Eastwood boldly shatters a classic formula genre of clearly delineated characters operating on opposite sides of justice, typical of Western myth.
The celebrated actor-director chooses instead, to focus and deliver an unflinching, unvarnished and powerful story-message about violence and how it harms society. There are no good guys against bad guys in the film. No greedy cattle-baron is out to get more land for himself, allowing his cowhands doing acts of terror against hardworking farming families, until one day a noble stranger on a horse shows up.
America is no longer a part of the late 19th Century of the Wild West. Since then a select group of American men have traveled to the moon, walked its alien soil, and returned back to earth. There were no fatalities during this time of lunar exploration, which had been successfully accomplished six times. And since that, America has entered the 21 st Century.
The time in which we as Americans live, and the global world we now share, have shown us all greater challenges unimaginable since the late 19th Century. Now, we as a nation of Americans have passed a turning point. The recent spate of tragedies both in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 and Boston, Massachusetts on April 15, 2013, are both evidences of our nation that has passed a turning point and there is no going back.
So what must we do? We dignify those who have fallen in those recent tragedies not only by mourning, but also through action measures and by seeing those fallen ones as the unforsaken, including injured survivors of the bombings. But then this usually happens, days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and so on. All the while, we as Americans will forget and busy ourselves in frantic activity of seeking electronic connectedness with our smartphones for comfort minutia. That is, until we as a nation take another roundhouse hit to get our attention all over again.
The specter of the machinations of politics will always be around us in a moment of crisis. But that is no excuse for inaction. No sequester had stopped the space race to the moon, and all its $25 billion spent, boldly declared by President John F. Kennedy.
A sci-fi TV show had its final season four years ago called Battlestar Galactica. In the last third of the final three part episode, there is one of many flashback scenes. In one scene, two off duty Viper fighter pilots are having a social in an apartment on the colonial world of Caprica, before the fall of most of humanity. In that scene a lead character Lee Adama is puzzled by the other lead character Kara Thrace who lacks a fear of death. As both are drunk and laughing he asks, So what does scare you? She eventually answers in just two words, Being forgotten.
The twelve girls, eight boys and six adult women from the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut are all not to be forgotten and forsaken. And Krystle Campbell age 29, from Medford, Massachusetts, Lu Lingzi age 23 a Chinese National and Boston University graduate student, Martin Richard age 8 from Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston, and Sean Collier age 27, a police officer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are all not to be forgotten and forsaken even in their deaths, as well as the injured survivors of the bombings.
If we as a nation of Americans do not enact prompt measures to slow gun violence such as background checks to begin with, and to have greater interagency cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities against terrorism, no turf wars, then those victims will have all been forsaken. But, there is ONE who already had seen all of the thirty fallen ones as the unforsaken. For all of those thirty souls of both the Newtown and Boston tragedies have all been shepherded within the arms of THE ONE OF ETERNAL GLORY. But if we as a nation of living Americans forsake those departed thirty, and those living injured by the bombings by doing nothing, then do we count ourselves as among the unforgiven?