“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~
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?
This 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!