“Born of the Fourth of July” is the Academy Award winning motion picture, based on the true story of a Vietnam War veteran and later anti-war revolutionist Ron Kovic (Kitman Ho, Stone & Stone, 1989). Ron is played by Tom Cruise as an ordinary boy, who wants to become a national hero learning from example of his father, who fought in WWII. Constant pressuring from his mother and promising reprimands of the military officials make Ron enlist himself as Marine sergeant. However, the horrifying scenes of war when during retreat Ron’s unit killed innocent civilians, mistakenly taking them for enemy fighters and accident, during which Ron killed his comrade-in-arms, leaved unbearable guilt on his shoulders.
Eventually Ron received serious wound, which leaved him paralyzed, depressed and enraged (Stone & Kovic, 1988). After passing humiliating treatment in the hospital, Ron was sent back home where he met shameful neglect and indifference from people of the country he fought for. His own family’s attitude made him understand that when one war was over for him, the other he still had to face in his native land. People, who did not fight in Vietnam, did not understand the patriotism of these, who decided to go miles away and came back paralyzed.
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This attitude, his family’s invariance and his physical inability made him enraged and drug addicted human being, who went to Mexico to find understanding from his fellow fighters (Kitman Ho, Stone & Stone, 1989). However, the same neglect and disrespect that veterans faced in the “Village of the Sun” made Ron realize that if he continues the same way, he would completely degrade (Stone & Kovic, 1988). Ron decided to join veterans’ movement against the war and during the event of National Convention spoke about the pride and courage of Vietnamese people, who fought for their independence (Stone & Kovic, 1988). He found redemption in the most deplorable circumstances. Now Ron became an enlightened, focused and triumphant speaker a contrast to what he was before.
In addition, firstly, he decided to fight, because of the contrast of his father’s heroism and secondly, he decided to lead anti-war protest in comparison to his beater experience and others’ disregard of his bravery and sacrifice. He eventually became a hero that his mother desired him to be. He became a hero of peace, but not of war.
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