Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Veronica Lake

The gorgeous movie star pictured on the left, in a studio still from Paramount, didn't commit suicide in real life. But in her reel life she did. In the film So Proudly We Hail Veronica plays one of 9 nurses who were caught on Corregidor after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In an emotionally wrenching scene the nurses are among those under attack by a squad of Japanese soldiers. Veronica's character walks out with a hand grenade concealed on her person, confronts the squad, and detonates the grenade. In the process she and the squad die.

There is a surface similarity to the action of the suicide bomber who flies a plane into a building, or detonates explosives at a pizza parlor or passover dinner. Yet, the similarity is only on the surface. When Veronica detonates the grenade she affirms the right of her friends, the ones who are left behind, to exist and to live. When she dies in the attack, she attacks soldiers, who are engaged in a combat mission, not civilians at a party or a religious dinner.

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