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Saturday, May 29, 2004

Memorial Day Movie Fest

Now that Memorial Day weekend is here, barbecues are heating, boats are revving, and sleeping bags are getting cleaned across the United States. My family plans to spend at least part of Memorial Day weekend acknowledging our military by watching some old favorites among military movies.

We'll definitely be starting off with The Great Escape, about a massive POW escape during World War II. We might follow up with a comedy like Sgt. Bilko or Stripes. I like Private Benjamin, but it has some scenes at the beginning that we definitely don't want to expose the kids to.

In my opinion, the "war movie to end all war movies" is Saving Private Ryan. We rented that one a few months ago, so I guess we won't get it for this Memorial Day, but I still recommend it if you have a constitution that can handle a very realistic war movie. If you want to see real heroic virtue, you won't find much better.

And really, that's what the war and military movies are about. Even the silly movies (like Private Benjamin and Stripes) show people who go into the military with the wrong motives but ultimately learn something about responsibility and duty, and discover that they enjoy the way it makes them feel to live up to those virtues.

So maybe this Memorial Day, we can take some time out from the food and the boating, and remind ourselves to let the meaning of the holiday inspire us a little.