Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vetrans, Veteren* (for Veterans, Veteran)

I recently saw an independent film at the NYS Museum, entitled The Way We Get By, which the New York Times has called "profoundly humane," but which I suspect some of my fellow anti-war lefties would preemptively see as a waste of their moviegoing time. The truth is, I didn't recognize a single person in the audience, composed of a fair number of men and women in army fatigues. But, despite the fact that it celebrates the service our military recruits and officers are rendering in Iraq and Afghanistan, you don't have to be supporter of these, or any other, wars to be deeply touched by this film. It chronicles the departure and return of our troops, by way of an airport terminal in Bangor, Maine, and as attended by a dedicated and tireless troop of "greeters" (one of whom was in attendance the night I saw the film, along with her son, the director, and his wife, the interviewer, for post-viewing Q&A). And it's mainly those volunteers who, as many critics and viewers have pointed out, give this film its profound universality. We found four cases of Vetrans in OhioLINK, and four more of Veteren* (including one with a [sic] and one for the Latin word veterensis). You can return to our typographical mission here tomorrow, but for now, have a happy Veterans Day.

(A building at the Minnesota Soldiers' Home Historic District in Minneapolis, Minnesota, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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