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Happy Memorial Day Weekend.
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Difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day
Memorial Day is a day on which those who died in active military service are REMEMBERED on the last Monday in May.
Labor Day is a public CELEBRATORY holiday held on the anniversary of the end of World War I (November 11) to honor US veterans (survivors) and victims of all wars.
Celebrate with One of These 7 War Movies
This Memorial Day weekend, how about remembering our fallen heroes by watching one of these 7 movies that celebrate the bravery and heroism of our fallen soldiers…
#1. WORLD WAR TWO: Band of Brothers (TV Series)
Steven Spielberg‘s Band of Brothers is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite miniseries. The series shows the horrors of war, the reason these battles must happen, and appreciates the brotherhood among our troops. Each episode focuses on a different soldier from medic to lieutenant to private.
Cast includes: Damian Lewis, David Schwimmer, Neal McDonough, Donnie Wahlberg, and cameos by Colin Hanks, Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender
Rating: TV-MA for violence, language, and some sexuality/nudity
And if you are a fan of movie soundtracks, you’ll want to add Michael Kamen’s soundtrack to your library. The theme song is one of the best.
#2. CIVIL WAR: Gettysburg
Anyone who’s read my blog recently will know that I am a fan of the epic Gettysburg starring an ensemble cast of Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels, Tom Berenger (claimed the role of Longstreet was his all-time favorite), Stephen Lang, Sam Elliott, Richard Jordan and more.
Trivia: For the first time, the National Park Service allowed the motion picture industry to recreate and film battle scenes directly on the Gettysburg Battlefield, including scenes of Devil’s Den and Little Round Top.
History buffs will undoubtedly love this epic war movie that shows the battle from the perspectives of both sides. Music fans will love the romantic and soaring soundtrack by Randy Edelman.
Sequel: If you liked this movie, you’ll also enjoy the prequel, Gods and Generals, featuring Stephen Lang as General Stonewall Jackson (Lang claimed Jackson was his all-time favorite role), Robert Duvall (replacing Martin Sheen) as General Robert E. Lee and Jeff Daniels reprising his role as Lt. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain.
Rating: PG for violence and language
#3. FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR: The Last of the Mohicans
Fans of Daniel Day-Lewis probably have a copy or two of this epic historical drama in their movie libraries. Set during the French and Indian War (1757), the story shows the conflict between the British (including American colonials) vs. the French and their Huron (Native Americans) allies. Caught in the middle are the beautiful Munro daughters (Madeleine Stowe, Revenge, and Jodhi May, Emma) who bond with their rescuers, Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Uncas (Eric Schweig).
The secondary story featuring Jodhi May and Eric Schweig is one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful in cinematic history.
Rating: R for VIOLENCE
#4. WORLD WAR TWO (PACIFIC THEATRE): Midway
The epic Technicolor war film features an international cast of stars including Charlton Heston (Ben Hur), Henry Fonda (Yours, Mine and Ours), Hal Holbrook (The Firm), Robert Mitchum, Robert Wagner, Pat Morita (The Karate Kid).
The film is noted for using previous action sequence footage from Tora! Tora! Tora!, Hawai Middouei daikaikusen: Taiheyo no arashi, Away All Boats, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and Battle of Britain.
Rating: PG for violence and language
#5. REVOLUTIONARY WAR: The Patriot
Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, and Jason Isaacs led the cast of this epic Revolutionary War movie told from the perspective of Benjamin Martin (a French and Indian War veteran).
Trivia. The role of Benjamin Martin was based on a composite of historical characters which include Thomas Sumter, Daniel Morgan, Nathanael Greene, Andrew Pickens, and Francis Marion.
Trivia. historian Ben Rubin argues that the American Revolution was a conflict that as often pitted neighbor against neighbor—Whigs (advocates of Revolution) against Tories (loyalists to Britain)—as it pitted nascent Americans against the British. Many people [such as the character of Benjamin Martin] stayed neutral until goaded into taking a stand in reaction to perceived atrocities
Rating: R for violence.
#6. KOREAN WAR: Pork Chop Hill
Starring Gregory Peck, Woody Strode, Rip Torn, and George Peppard, this 1959 film depicts the first fierce Battle of Pork Chop Hill between the U.S. Army’s 7th Infantry Division and Chinese and North Korean forces in April 1953.
Trivia. The movie, based on the book of the same title, marked the screen debut of Martin Landau.
Rating. PG for violence and language.
#7. VIETNAM WAR: We Were Soldiers
We Were Soldiers is another Mel Gibson war movie that also does a great job of showing what life was like back home for the women.
Because the military was unprepared for such large casualty lists, telegrams announcing the death of soldiers were delivered by cab drivers. Mrs. Moore (Madeleine Stowe) delivered the telegrams to the women on base herself and actually pressured the Pentagon to create a standard casualty notification procedure.
Trivia. The photographer, Joseph Galloway (Barry Pepper), married the daughter of Captain Thomas C. Metsker (Clark Gregg), who gave up his seat on a chopper to a soldier who was more severely wounded.
Rating. R for sustained sequences of graphic war violence, and for language
I grieve with you and your families as you remember the family members who were killed in the line of duty. But also, I thank you for the sacrifice your family made.
Letter to Mrs. Bixby
May I leave you with a re-sharing of the Bixby Letter.
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
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Continue the Conversation
How do you and your family like to memorialize the fallen heroes on Memorial Day?