A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

January 18, 2016

Recommended: 13 Hours, The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

The real heroes and survivors of Benghazi
     I never would have thought that "the righteous acts of men" could be uttered in the same breath as "war".  Yet that is exactly what I saw in the movie, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.  Granted, the American public has been divided over this event since September 11, 2012, and the subject has become highly politicized... after all someone running to be the next Commander-in-Chief is being heavily scrutinized over her connection to the deaths of four Americans that night.  That alone makes this movie important to me.
     It's not because I want to slam one politician, or support one political party over another.  It's because I want to hear the truth from the men who lived the battle that night -- not the State Department's version, or the carefully-crafted script that plays out on the media outlets.  That is all for them to carry out their own agendas.
     No, I want to hear the human story of bravery and heroism; the kind that none of us are capable of; the kind that is willing to face death to try to save the life of a fellow human being; the kind that does the right thing, no matter the personal cost.  And that has nothing in common with presidential campaigns, political pundits, or congressional committees.
     And so I watched 13 Hours with a sense of awe and profound respect, mixed with an emotional anger that Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods had to die that night.  And this is the story of the men that were there that night.  It does not mention any of the big names in Washington.  It is the story of their personal struggles to stay alive during an assault by an enemy determined to kill them, while wondering why the military support that was readily available did not arrive.   Sadly, the deaths of those four men could have been avoided, but it was not the focus of the movie to lay blame for the disgraceful decision(s).
     Instead it was to focus on the incredible professionalism and dedication of the men who never gave up on each other.  Heroes is too common a word for them.  Yes, they found themselves in the middle of a war that they didn't want to fight, but they never wavered in the face of overwhelming odds or certain death.  They never put themselves first, before those they were there to protect.  And, even in the midst of such hell on earth, they never let go of family and God.  It is a story as told by the survivors, and it is their story, no matter how much the narrative doesn't fit someone's political ideology.
     For me, it is sad that this movie fell below expectations at the box office.  It just shows me that people in this nation just want to focus on the politics, and to debate on what went wrong and who is responsible.  What about those brave men?  Have we forgotten them?  I know that it is a cliché to talk about the cost of freedom.  But these men have paid it for us.  Shouldn't we at least honor them by focusing on what they endured that night?  Can we focus on the response of the security teams when Tyrone Woods gives them the assessment of the situation Ambassador Stevens and those were under at the diplomatic outpost, "None of you have to go, but we’re the only hope they have.”  And they went!
     Perhaps one of the saddest moments for me was the moment that Tyrone Woods and fellow Contractor and former SEAL, Jack Silva, discussed the seriousness of the battle in which they were engaged, and the possibility that help would not arrive.  Woods says, "What used to make this worth doin’ is gone."  When our patriotic military men recognize that what this country used to be and what it used to stand for is gone, yet they still answer the call, then I know that they are distinctly superior to any one of us... and I mourn them.  I mourn that their deaths can be so casually ignored by a portion of Americans who live safely and securely in America, precisely because there are men such as they.  I mourn because so many will never know them beyond their connection with an unpleasant moment in history.  And I mourn that both grief and anger will forever be associated with this event; that their heroism is overshadowed by the shameful actions of our government.  Please... see this movie, if for no other reason than they deserve to have you feel the last gut-wrenching hours of that September 11th night, and for the loss of their friends; and for you to experience what it looks like for one man to lay down his life for his fellow man.  And because ... it does make a difference!

Romans 12:10   "Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor."



  1. Great post, Belle Ringer. I find it hard to go to those kinds of movies, but feel it is necessary. I too walked away with such a great respect for those men that night. They did was right in spite of the outcomes. That seems to be a quality that is not highlighted enough these days. I am thankful for their story.

  2. What these men did transcends the concept of "heroism". They were willing to risk their lives to save their fellow men; their countrymen. I am PROUD of them for being Americans who "walked the walk" when it came time to put words and values into action. Their story isn't lost on me.