Rarely does anything that I write take anything too seriously. However, today is Veteran’s Day in the United States and if there is one thing to fully respect, it is those people that elect to serve. So today, I’ll do my best to honor and give tribute to those people that do or have put themselves in harm’s way to protect those in need. Here are a handful of movies that I feel show the bravery and honor in which the men and women in the Armed Forces carry themselves.
“The Hurt Locker”: This has become an example of the ups and downs a soldier faces as they do their jobs. In this case, their job is to disarm bombs, which has to be the worst job in the world. Much like a fireman, this person willingly goes to the place that everyone else is fleeing. This movie shows how that negatively effects a person, but it also shows just how brave and fearless these people are.
“The Great Escape”: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, it really has a laundry list of iconic actors. This World War II film follows a group of Allied soldiers as they plot escape from a German POW camp. It’s fairly heart wrenching and shows that no matter what, these people will not quit.
“Saving Private Ryan”: Everyone is aware of the movie’s opening, which brutally shows American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach. While that opening is amazing, the real story in this movie is the fact that a group of soldiers, some who didn’t see the logic in it, all risked their lives just to save one of their peers. They were ordered to do it and they followed through, just so one soldier that lost all of his brothers could go home.
“Glory”: If you are able to watch the last 30 minutes of this movie and not cry your eyes out, I’ll question your humanity. Is there really a better example of a group of people rising up and fighting for themselves? In this case, it’s an Army unit of black soldiers fighting for the Northern Army against the South in the Civil War. The finale is so powerful, intense, inspiring, that the inevitable gut punch is all too painful, even after several viewings.
“Platoon”: This movie really does an amazing job of showing the ugliness and insanity of war and how soldiers react to it. Some react in a calming way (Willem Dafoe) and some go completely mad (Tom Berenger). “Platoon” is almost as much of a character study as a movie about the Vietnam War.
“Black Hawk Down”: This is perhaps my favorite of all these movies. It’s one of the biggest tales of sacrifice. Our soldiers were sent to Mogadishu, Somalia and help people that were being swallowed up by what essentially was organized crime. To this day, that city is still overrun by crime and lawlessness. There really isn’t a better example that when the military says “No One Gets Left Behind”, they really and truly mean it.
Those are really my favorite movies that show the bravery and selflessness of members of the Armed Forces. What are some of yours?