If you feel detached this Memorial day, unable to really connect with the kind of sacrifice that is given by the men and women who have died for our country, I have some movies to suggest to you. Movies that my husband has forced me to watch (:) ) the past few months with him, and it’s been riveting.
It’s hard to connect sometimes with things we haven’t experienced or don’t fully understand. We see the other side of war, the beauty that comes from when it succeeds or ends. There is an old story of the Memorial Day poppy, the symbolic flower of remembrance, began with in the Spring of 1915, when the fields of Belgium, France, and Gallipoli were covered with the tiny red blossoms. It was after a long, cold winter of war, the ground and soil were broken up and torn enough to initiate the poppy seeds into germination.
Desolate battlefields of red flowers became fraught with clusters of delicate, bright poppies. Death, horror, and loss of brave soldiers fighting in war, were then remembered, marked, with the poppies that came from their fight. Beauty from pain. Beauty from ashes. Beauty from hopelessness.
It’s hard to understand the depth of their sacrifice unless you’ve been in the situation yourself, have seen your friends die in combat, or have lost one of your loved ones.
My husband and I watched these movies with the same theme of war, love, and sacrifice. I’m not the kind of woman who actively seeks out dramatic, fight scene kind of movies, but let me tell you… these movies, are AMAZING. You will come away feeling at least a little more appreciation for the men and women who have died for our country, and the families that supported them.
Act of Valor
In Act of Valor, there are frequent disturbing, but necessary, scenes of a woman being brutally tortured – she is the package they must receive and rescue. It is a movie that transports you into a place you likely have never been, and never want to be. The life of a Navy Seal. You are the woman the terrorists have captured and who are drilling holes through her hands, dragging across the floor while she’s covered in blood and in chains, you are the men who know exactly what she is enduring, and are on a race against the clock to try to recover her before she gives up the will to live, or is killed. You hear her screams echoing through the rain forest, as you’re going through the necessary tactical commands and movements in order to complete your operation. This movie showed me the horror that goes on without us even knowing as we live our cushy lives filled with blatant ignorance of all the terrorists in the world craving to do us evil. It was amazing, intense, and horrifying. It showed the bravery of the men and women by putting you in their place, in their thoughts, in their very emotions.
Zero Dark Thirty
This is the movie about the inspiring dedication and perseverance it took to catch Osama Bin Laden. It is produced by the interesting and elusive Gen-Y rebel and heiress, Megan Ellison (29). It follows the true story, with its real life heroine and characters, however, it has the disclaimer that it is only a movie, not a documentary. I found it riveting and fascinating… brutally hard to watch, and yet, I was filled with desire to know what would happen next, sitting on the edge of my seat, muscles completely and utterly tense.
No matter one’s beliefs on the political overtones of the CIA using torture methods on terrorists, and this film deliberately showing that they worked, it is an intriguing movie that will make you all the more thankful to be protected by people who dedicate their entire lives, looking every waking second for the evil that hunts us.
End of Watch
A movie about police sacrifice, although they are not Veterans coming back from, or giving their lives in war, these men and women serve in a different kind of way. I talked with a Marine who has been on 3 tours, and he assured me that the Police Officer has to constantly be on watch, he will never get to be a “Veteran” until he hangs up his vest and puts away his gun. He is always “deployed,” even though he gets to come home at night. This movie was a humorous, beautiful, tear-jerking look inside what a real police life feels like. The main character and his humor reminded me so much of my husband it made it very hard to watch in some respect. Even as I write this post, one of my husband’s friends just had to deal with a violent drunk, in a thunderstorm of our flooding city, and then drive him to jail as he took a shit in his car.
But they would take that over a boring desk job any day.