Conviction, Sacrifice

“I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.”

~Desmond Doss in the movie Hacksaw Ridge~

Have you ever thought about your own convictions – if you would stick to them no matter what?

Desmond Thomas Doss (February 7, 1919 – March 23, 2006) was a United States Army Corporal who served as a combat medic with an infantry company in World War II. After distinguishing himself in the Battle of Okinawa, he became the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor for actions above and beyond the call of duty. He is also the only conscientious objector to receive the medal during World War II.

I’ve been thinking about Desmond off and on since I watched the 2016 movie a week and a half ago.

Doss refused to kill an enemy soldier or carry a weapon into combat because of his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist. While serving with his platoon in 1944 on Guam and the Philippines, he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for aiding wounded soldiers under fire. During the Battle of Okinawa, he saved the lives of 75 wounded infantrymen atop the Maeda Escarpment (Hacksaw Ridge). Doss was wounded four times in Okinawa, and was evacuated on May 21, 1945 aboard the USS Mercy.

This man was so strong in his faith and conviction, to not hold a gun or kill, that he placed himself in mortal danger to drag or carry 75 of his fellow soldiers over 100 yards near the enemy’s front line. In a scene from the movie, most of his unit had evacuated the ridge after taking heavy fire from the Japanese. The character of Desmond, with tears in his eyes, asked God what to do next.

This past Sunday, our Pastor talked about how God calls us to sacrificial love, not mere niceness. Desmond exhibited that sacrificial love for his comrades, his fellow human beings on Hacksaw Ridge. God surely must have answered him.

I admire Desmond’s conviction of faith. Had I been in his situation, I envision myself running in the other direction as fast as my legs could possibly take me. If the scene at Okinawa in 1945 was anything close to the bloody, gory, horrid battleground as depicted in the movie, I would have been scared beyond words. It’s a very special person who is willing to sacrifice themself to save another. And another. And another. And 72 more “anothers.”

What about you dear readers? Could you stand by your convictions the same as Desmond? Would you put your life on the line for any of your convictions?

This1linerwedsbadgewes post has been brought to you by Desmond Doss, conviction and sacrifice. It’s also being brought to you by the fabulous Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday. Click HERE to see additional one-liners in the comment section. Feel free to play along by posting your own one-liner and linking your post to Linda’s. And don’t forget to leave comments for Linda!

28 responses to Conviction, Sacrifice

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Judy, sorry I’m so late in responding to your comment…I found it in my spam folder!

      I know your honesty. I really don’t think I could have done what Desmond did. He truly was a dedicated servant to his God.

  1. dweezer19 says:

    I pray for the wisdom to know what my persoanl moment of sacrifice is Mary. I hope I will be strong enough to accept it. I admire this man’s courage to stand by his convictions no matter what.

  2. Dan Antion says:

    I would hope that in moments like that, I could summon the courage to do the greater good. I don’t know if I could. I know of a few times when I’ve put myself in the tiniest bit of danger because I felt I had to do/say something. I wasn’t scared until after the fact. There is no comparison to a man who put himself in enemy fire, 75 times, but if he asked God for guidance, I certain he knew what to do. Thanks for sharing this today, Mary.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      We all hope, Dan, that we can find our courage when we need it most. It may be a time when it’s not life-threatening, just a time when one needs to make a scary or anxiety-ridden decision. I’ve done that at least once. No, nothing like what Doss did when he saved his fellow soldiers, but courage is courage. I think some people simply have more of it and a little help from You-know-who.

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    Mary, you’ve hit a subject that I’ve often wondered about. I fear that at my core, in an extreme situation, I would crumble like a house of cards. I’d like to believe I would be brave and be willing to sacrifice myself to save another … but I suspect I would be paralyzed by my terror and need saving myself.
    Those inner reflections are very painful. The reality is, no one really knows how they will react. I can only hope I will never be tested.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You might be surprised at your bravery, Joanne. We have it in us, the question is when will it come out. I think in dire situations, when there is no other answer, we find the courage for remarkable acts.

  4. LindaGHill says:

    That’s one of the questions, for me, that I’d have to be in the situation to know the answer to. I know I would sacrifice myself for my children. Anyone else? I know what I’d want to do, but would I, given that my disabled children depend on me? Tougher call when I’d be making it my kids’ sacrifice too.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I think most every parent would sacrifice for their children. You’re in a unique situation, when it comes to being sacrificial or courageous for others. You have those kids to think about and in my book, they would come first. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to my questions, only food for thought…

  5. As I try to compose an reply, I find I am torn. When I imagine Auschwitz, I imagine myself melting into a puddle. I have stood up for myself and others with blazing surges of strength and conviction. Granted, these were not Hacksaw Ridge situations, but I prevailed and made a difference to the outcome.

    I didn’t attend a free stand up comedy event in support of our town last night because I can’t handle crowds. I’m an avid supporter of our community, but I couldn’t even.

    What an enigma, eh?

    Thought-provoking – and I thank you.

  6. Jaded Jeni says:

    I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that I’ve been growing in conviction, mostly by not casting judgment on others. I want to be gentler and kinder… It’s been easier than I thought it would be, especially when I tell myself that it’s not my place to judge anybody. I’m no picture of perfection, myself. But when it comes to the conviction of selflessly sacrificing myself to save someone else, I think I would do it. All lives are precious and if I’m physically able, then I’ll do what I have to.

    What an amazing and inspiring post, Mary. ♥

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Jeni, you are a good person. To aspire to not judge others, to be kind and gentle to the human race, is definitely conviction. I give you two thumbs up and kudos for knowing that you would sacrifice your safety to save someone else. That takes a very special person. 🙂

      • Jaded Jeni says:

        Aww, making me tear up! Thank you. It’s an effort but worth it with all the negativity going on in the world. 🙂

  7. JoAnna says:

    I think as I get older, I have more courage to stand by my convictions. Based on my brief experiences in trauma situations that pale in comparison to Desmond’s. I would probably do well in the thick of things, but melt into a blubbering puddle after each crisis has passed.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Age does change the way we view life and the risks we are willing to take in our action. I still can’t imagine fighting through the horrid scenes and smells at Okinawa to save so many people. Let’s hope that most of us will not have to face that kind of situation in real life or that we can handle it if it comes along.

  8. joey says:

    No, I certainly couldn’t behave like Desmond. I can’t even carry my youngest child anymore. Mother Bear type stuff, though… I’d risk my life for my children, absolutely.

    Desmond’s actions would still be amazingly heroic even if he had carried and fired a weapon, but I dig his conviction.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m not sure how he even survived without carrying a weapon, but he did it. No, I couldn’t carry anything over 45 pounds at this point, but evidently Desmond had superhuman strength when he needed it.

  9. Excellent post. I’ve been so busy I didn’t see it until I visited Dan today.
    Excellent comments.
    I’ve been tested in the last 18 months. I am not usually a political animal (posting, arguing, etc.), but so much about human rights, environment (which is a sine-qua-non — without this noting– for me as in, if we do not wake up to the damage we are doing ecologically then the rest may not matter much) and injustice to the least strong among us has moved me. I also love our constitution. My zeal — and I try to be patient and informative and compassionate — has been tried. I’ve lost friends, and oddly, most were “in my own party” whatever that is now… It is no war zone but it IS a war zone of a different ilk. And it has hurt, sometimes.
    His kind of bravery? I have no idea.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Katie! Better late than never, right? I totally understand what you are feeling about the environment and injustice. I think about it almost every day. Some days I feel angry, others make me sad, but most often I try to do my best to make the world a better place. I can’t control what comes from our current administration, but I can help in my own community. I’m trying to focus on that. Sorry you lost friends, it’s the result of the current climate in the U.S. and who created it. With that, I’ll end my comments, for I could go on and on and on…

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