Hacksaw Ridge is a war movie that stands out from the rest by celebrating the preservation of lives rather than the bloodshed. It tells the incredible true story of pacifist Desmond Doss, who became a war hero without ever picking up a gun. Doss saved the lives of 75 people, including his captain, during the brutal battle at Hacksaw Ridge in Okinawa. His acts of bravery as a combat medic involved deflected enemy grenades and sustaining injuries, but he refused to leave the battlefield until all injured soldiers were brought to safety.
Desmond Doss’s Presence on Hacksaw Ridge
Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector, was against violence due to personal experiences in his past. He almost killed his brother during childhood roughhousing and almost shot his father when he drunkenly threatened his mother at gunpoint. These experiences shaped Doss’s belief in non-violence. However, he still wanted to serve his country during World War II and chose to become a combat medic. While most war films focus on the bloodshed required for victory, Hacksaw Ridge celebrates the preservation of lives and shows that there are different ways for soldiers to prove their courage.
The battle at Hacksaw Ridge was known for its brutality. It involved close combat and heavy artillery, resulting in the deaths of many American and Japanese soldiers. Doss not only survived the battle but also managed to save dozens of lives. He deflected enemy grenades and sustained injuries while making his way to wounded soldiers in need of his help. While many of his fellow troops were fleeing the battle, Doss remained at the top of the cliff, performing his duties as a combat medic as long as there were still soldiers fighting on the battlefield. He spent a total of 12 grueling hours at Hacksaw Ridge before being taken back down the cliff.
During his time at Hacksaw Ridge, Doss saved the lives of 75 people, including his captain, Jack Glover. Doss, who was initially shamed and ridiculed by his fellow troops for his religious beliefs and objection to violence, was suddenly praised by those same men. Glover, in Terry Benedict’s documentary about Doss, called him one of the bravest persons alive and highlighted the irony of Doss saving his life.
Desmond Doss’s heroism at Hacksaw Ridge earned him the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman. The film Hacksaw Ridge, based on his story, portrays the incredible bravery and selflessness of Doss in the face of unimaginable danger. It serves as a powerful reminder that there are different ways to contribute to the preservation of life and to show courage in times of war.