Recently at one of our Life Group gatherings, we were asked what our favorite movie was. For me (Tim) it is Saving Private Ryan, and with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we watched it again. For many, it is a tough movie as it graphically depicts war, but I am always caught by the story line of the "saving" of Private Ryan. For those who haven't watched the movie after the D-day invasion, it comes to the attention of the army commanders that the Ryan family had sent four sons into war, and three of them were now dead. They decide that they are going to find the fourth son and send him home to his mother. So a group of eight soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) is sent on a mission to find Ryan and bring him home alive. The only problem is he is lost somewhere in the French countryside. A good part of the movie is this group of eight soldiers wandering the French countryside in search of Ryan and debating the morality and fairness of this mission. I mean potentially sacrificing eight men for one seems absurd. As they go along they get into small skirmishes with German soldiers and one by one they are dying, making the mission seem even more futile.
Eventually, the six remaining soldiers find private Ryan and a small group of soldiers guarding a bridge key to the allies advance through France. The soldiers are elated that they can take Ryan back to safety and maybe even they will get to go home alive. However, Ryan isn't willing to abandon his post, even when he learns of the death of his three brothers. What are they to do??? Captain Miller (Hanks) decides they will stay with Ryan and help him defend the bridge until reinforcements arrive. In the final battle scene, the Germans attack and the bridge is almost overrun until P-51 planes arrive to drive the Germans back. However, three more of the original eight soldiers are killed in action and Miller (Hanks) is mortally wounded on the bridge. Ryan comes up to Miller to be with him. That scene and following is below (sorry for the poor quality).