desegregation of the armed forces

Transcript of the pre-episode interview for Fall, Episode 11, “The Howling Commandos,” produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg for HBO:

The casting people had to be commended.   Somehow they lucked out and the actor who played James Morita for the show strongly resembles the real, but of course, much older James Morita who’s sitting in front of the camera for his interview. 

This was the segment shown just before the episode “Fall” - where Sargeant James Buchanan Barnes met his end, the second to the last episode of the Howling Commandos series and perhaps, one of the best loved among the fans. 

The old man’s eyes are still clear and his voice is steady as he tells the real story, not glammed up or exagerrated by Hollywood or propaganda. 

Yeah, they were best buddies, grew up together in Brooklyn, to hear the Sarge talk about it.  Sarge looked out for the Cap ever since he was knee high to a grasshopper and about 90 pounds soaking wet.  Always in trouble ‘cause he can’t help but look out for the other guy, even though anyone else would walk away.  There was never such a thing as a fight you can’t win.  Not for the Captain. 

And Sarge?  Yeah, he said he got into that habit of making sure the Cap didn’t get his damn fool self killed and habits are hard to break, you know? 

They loved each other.  You don’t drop 30 miles into enemy territory all on  your own, storm an enemy base with nothing more than a shield and guts.  'Sargeant James Buchanan Barnes.  Bucky Barnes.’ That’s the first thing Cap asks while making sure the rest of us make it out of there alive.  The Sarge was the important thing.

Oh.  Did you mean if they were like in love with each other?  Like that? 

Does it matter?

All of us watched each other’s backs, knew we’d go to the end of the line for each other.  The first desegregated unit in the armed forces with a Frenchie and a Limey to boot.   And we were brothers, all of us and the Cap and the Sarge held us together like Mama Bear and Papa Bear and all the little bears.  Family. 

So.  That’s what I have to say.  Cap and the Sarge would go to the end of the line together, just like they’d do it for the rest of us.    That’s what the Cap did in the end.  No two ways about it.

They loved each other.  It’s as simple as that.  

The old man smiles.

“It is hereby declared that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.” — President Harry S. Truman, July 26, 1948.

Today we celebrate the desegregation of the armed forces.