Topic: "Das Boot"
The United States Navy lost 52 submarines and 3600 of the 16,000 sailors assigned to them during the Second World War.
55 percent of all the Japanese ships sunk suffered their end because of submariners.
Nearly all of those who served on German U-Boats died, in action.
These facts meant much more to Frodo after he saw the movie "The Boat," ("Das Boot," auf deutsch) on Public Television. Jurgen Prochnow was the actor who captured Frodo's imagination, but it was Sander Vanocur and Charlie Sydnor who brought the story home to him. On behalf of Public Televison the combined journalistic and historical presentation of an outstanding piece of cinematic artistry enveloped those who sacrificed their lives for political folderol.
Frodo can watch his old friend Dr. Sydnor, also once of the College of the Shire, authoritatively address the environment into which simple sailors found themselves. It was thusly painful to the Hobbit to learn that on the second day of November just past that only 31 veterans of the submarine service would reunite at Kings Bay, 14 fewer than their number just one year ago. The vote taken was to end the reunions that had once drawn as many as 800, from as far away as California.
Frodo's pain is two-fold. First off, it is for those who served, and who are known only to God. There are so many. The debt is astronomical.
There is, also, a recognition of those who do their best to make sure that not all of those names are known only to the supernatural. Frodo's friend is among them, and Frodo hangs on every word he has to say, knowing that Dr. Sydnor, like "Big Bird," has a value which is far greater than Mitt Romney's 13 percent of adjusted gross income. Lest we forget.