The fact that this film is based on a true story adds more to its power, but my favorite bit, and to me, one of the most memorable, was Oher’s final essay on courage and honor.
This is what he wrote about The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, a poem written to memorialize a suicidal charge by the British cavalry over open terrain:
Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or a mistake, but you’re not supposed to question adults, or your coach, or your teacher because they make the rules. Maybe they know best, but maybe they don’t.I wrote to my brother in Leavenworth this morning, and I sent him the above. I asked him to have both courage and honor in this next phase of life he’s entering. I also proposed to him that, with his permission, and of course, input, that he contribute to this blog, sharing his feelings and experiences from the inside.
It all depends on who you are, where you come from. Didn’t at least one of the six hundred guys think about giving up and joining with the other side? I mean, Valley of Death, that’s pretty salty stuff.
That’s why courage is tricky. Should you always do what others tell you to do? Sometimes you might not even know why you’re doing something. I mean, any fool can have courage.
But honor, that’s the real reason you either do something or you don’t. It’s who you want to be. If you die trying for something important then you have both honor and courage and that’s pretty good.
I suggested he write about his experiences like a story. There is so little information on the Internet on what it is like that most of us on the outside can only draw from movies. People are hungry for information — we also want to know he’s okay.
I thought maybe if he had an audience, though they are invisible to him, he would not be invisible to them. In short, my brother could make a difference. A positive one. Still.
Courage and honor.