Those of you who tuned out the Olympics don’t know what you missed. But one thing you shouldn’t miss is Tom Brokaw’s excellent hour-long report which led-off Friday night’s prime time NBC coverage. (I can’t find a link anywhere to the video; perhaps someone can post a comment.) It is the sort of thing hardly found on NBC anymore, or any major network for that matter. The lessons from 1939 to 1941 still resonate:
“What England went through in 1940 and ’41 will endure forever as a lesson in courage, national resolve and the power of enlightened leadership,” Brokaw told TV Guide Magazine. “Against great odds, the UK kept Hitler from using this island nation as a launching pad for expanding his evil empire. We owe this country and that time a great debt.”
Brokaw, with the aid of producers Brian Brown and Joe Gesue, spent two years shooting Their Finest Hour across London, Dover, Coventry, Portsmouth, Bladon and Cambridge, where they interviewed victims of Germany’s sustained bombing attacks. The producers also unearthed some haunting color footage of Europe during the war that hasn’t been seen in years. Several of the interviews in the film were also conducted down in Winston Churchill’s London war rooms, which have been preserved to this day. The site is a monument to a time when, as Brokaw puts it, England was all that was left between liberty and tyranny.
There are interviews with an RAF Spitfire pilot as well as a survivor of Coventry that simply must be seen. The hollowed out shell of the Coventry Cathedral still stands as a British testament to how demonic Hitler was. Pay attention also to how faith glued Churchill and Roosevelt together in common cause against the evil of Nazism.
That Mia Farrow groaned the report was a “lecture on WWII” should make you want to see it even more.
A small personal aside – an organization which did not have their finest hour was U.S. Sailing. Not a single American sailing medal was won by a nation with thousands of miles of coastline, hundreds of sailing clubs, hundreds of racing clubs, and fleets across the land. Heck, we even won medals in fencing. Something is rotten in Annapolis. I personally volunteer for the Laser competition in Rio in 2016. The results couldn’t be much worse.
Related at PJ Lifestyle from Chuck Chalberg: NBC and Tom Brokaw’s Olympic Tribute to the Battle of Britain