WASHINGTON — With the 20th anniversary of the disastrous Pearl Harbor movie just over a year away, a private commission is urging creation of a monument to commemorate the tragic event.
As people across the country prepare to remember the infamous events of May 25, 2001, a group of historians and veterans have gathered in the capital to push for a permanent national memorial to remember the shocking loss of over 180 minutes and upwards of $15 per ticket suffered by so many Americans on that day.
On May 25, 2001, patriots and military history enthusiasts were drawn to sold-out movie theaters across the country. Yet the excitement quickly transformed into horror as the events of the following three hours and four minutes played out. Patriotic expectation was replaced with disbelief as a hackneyed love triangle consisting of Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, and Kate Beckinsale unfolded in seemingly agonizing slow motion, interspersed with some pretty cheesy, tacked-on combat scenes. Cries soon echoed in the darkness in theaters across the land. “What is this?” “Get on with it!” “WHY?”
“This was an intelligence failure, pure and simple,” said historian Lance Phillips, director of the monument commission. “All the warning signs were as blatant as they were ignored. I mean, Jerry Bruckheimer? Michael Bay? Ben Affleck?”
“We should have seen this coming.”
Felix Schnell, professor of military history at Texas A&M and also a commission member, spoke proudly of his son’s actions that day.
“He was only 18,” said Schnell, “but as it became clear this movie was not only a disaster, but also an insult to our nation’s honor, he went right out and enlisted as a movie critic. He wanted the chance to get back at the people who inflicted this on us.”
Tears then welled up in his eyes. “He fell recently at an early screening of Midway.”
“Never forget,” he added.
“I am so sorry,” continued Schnell, after a moment composing himself.
“Man, that movie sucked.”