I like to consider myself a Patriot but I have to admit to some very strong praying going on when my only son reached draft age. My husband had served in Vietnam and I saw firsthand the emotional struggles that came with being a Light Infantry Squad Leader. Scars that would last a lifetime…how could they not?
I have not only a tremendous respect but an outright love for the men and women who serve us, defending America. Veteran’s Day for so many has become just another day.
What easier way to build a little awareness, than a movie or two this month. While some people love military movies, many of us stay as far away as possible. Political views on war? Get over it! Whichever side of that fence you’re on, we still need defenders in our society. Without our military there would be no America!
There are so many good ones, I didn’t know where to start. When you reach back to the very early years in America we have the brilliance of Glory, God’s and Generals (long but good) and Gettysburg.
World War I brought us the epic All Quiet on the Western Front. The 1979 made for TV version with Richard Thomas actually paled in comparison to the 1930 classic. Go for the original if you can find it!
Saving Private Ryan is to me the benchmark for World War II movies. The first five minutes almost had me walking out of the theater but once I settled into the horrible realities of war I was set for a real education. This is a “must see” movie. If you are looking for an earlier vintage WWII movie you can’t go wrong with Bridge on the River Kwai or The Thin Red Line.
I had a little problem putting together a list of Korean Conflict (I’m sure it felt like a war to those who were there) films. Battle Hymn and The Bridges of Toko-Ri are a couple, but the standout, probably because of the popular TV Series was Mash. I’m sure there are still reruns showing somewhere!
Vietnam. Now we’re getting to the point in time that many have been touched by. One of the greatest tragedies of Vietnam is how the war was portrayed by Hollywood. One of the most honest accounts can be found in We were Soldiers Once with Mel Gibson.
From there we move to the Middle East and more defined political opinions on our intervention. The vantage points are all over the place but the plethora of movies seems to take in them all. Some of the better attempts are Lone Survivor, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.
In my opinion one of the best is Black Hawk Down but for just pure entertainment you won’t want to forget Top Gun. The music score alone is worth the viewing!! So this month reflect on our many blessings in America and know that our system of government, while not always perfect is as close as it gets. That system and our military allows us the privilege of not thinking too much about Veteran’s Day! Why don’t you change that up this year! Watch a movie and thank a Vet! As always I love your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.