Vietnam veteran John Kerry, best known as Barack Obama‘s Secretary of State (2013 to 2017), a Massachusetts U.S. Senator from ’85 through ’13 and Democratic nominee for President in ’04, has weighed in on The Greatest Beer Run Ever (Apple, 9.30) in the pages of the Boston Globe.
For what it’s worth, this may be the first time Kerry has publicly opined on a motion picture…ever.
As Peter Farrelly’s currently playing film is one of the first Hollywood movies set entirely during the Vietnam War in many many years, Kerry saw Beer Run early and took an immediate liking. He’s actually seen it twice, I’m told.
Kerry: “[I’m] reminded of the story of a forgotten Marine in the iconic photo of the flag-raisers over Iwo Jima, the one with his back to the camera. He had been killed in action the very next day, and no one ever told this young man’s grieving mother that her son was the one leaning over and planting the pole on the top of Mount Suribachi. Not until a down-on-his-luck, unhappy Ira Hayes shook himself upright, hitchhiked from Arizona to Texas, found his buddy’s mother and informed her that her son was a great man who’d never be forgotten.
“Like Chickie Donohue’s gesture to the mother of his fallen friend, these are wartime reminders of bonds that endure beyond the battlefield.
“The Greatest Beer Run Ever doesn’t challenge viewers like Oliver Stone’s Platoon or Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. It doesn’t have to do that. Its power is bringing to life people and places that anyone who has served in uniform, or grown up in a neighborhood or community defined by loyalty and friendship can relate to — and reminding us that we often can rediscover those bonds in the hardest of circumstances.
“That was one of the realities of Vietnam, where young men put their lives in each other’s hands, and, regardless of where they came from or where they were headed, created lifelong ties as enduring as any built on the streets of Chickie’s Inwood. For those of us of the Vietnam generation, the film is a poignant reminder that, whatever we did in that time and whatever our political perspective, how we experienced Vietnam is inextricably intertwined with who we experienced it with.
“But for all of us, the film can serve as a reminder that even in times of great division and conflict, hopefully we can find common ground; if not, at least we can find our common humanity. Learning that lesson hopefully does not demand that we travel thousands of miles from home as Chickie had to, but that we can find that spirit right here at home, again.”