The long weekend has definitely had an adverse affect on my work productivity. I have already set a new personal record for stammering and saying I can't remember this morning. I didn't do anything to hasten my memory loss this weekend, but three days of low brain function is apparently detrimental to intelligence.
While I try to get on track this morning I'm also thinking about the topic of war movies. I have developed a tradition over the past several years of watching a war movie on Memorial Day. It has become as much a part of mine and Arica's tradition as the annual barbecue. Yesterday we cooked a nice dinner and sat down to watch Saving Private Ryan. This is my favorite war movie of all time. I have seen seemingly hundreds of war movies from classic to modern, but I like this Spielberg directed masterpiece best. I like the new movies which strive for as much realism as possible. I think we have watched Saving Private Ryan the past several Memorial Day's so maybe I should change it up.
I have several others on DVD to choose from. Some of my favorites are We Were Soldiers, Platoon, and Full Metal Jacket. You don't even need a DVD player to enjoy war movies on this holiday weekend though. AMC plays a War Movie Marathon every Memorial Day. Yesterday the marathon was full of great classics like Tora! Tora! Tora! and Patton. I recorded the latter to watch one late night while I'm up with Braden.
I know these are just movies. They do not necessarily depict war as it occurs in real life. I know they are meant for entertainment purposes. These movies, however, cause me to ponder questions about the reality of war. They cause me to actually consider what it must have been like to charge the beaches at Normandy. They at least put into your mind that eighteen year old kids had to stare down Panzer Tanks. They had to fight in close combat for their lives. These thoughts help me always remember our veterans and what they must have endured even though I could never truly imagine what they experienced. One of my favorite war shows of all time is Band of Brothers. I usually get it out every summer to enjoy again when all my TV shows are over. The way this miniseries uses interviews with the actual soldiers portrayed in the show adds another element to the experience. It is very powerful to have actual faces that go with the events depicted on screen.
I have always loved war movies. I think my Dad has seen every war movie ever made. At least he has seen all the ones made before 1990. We shared a few of those when I was a kid. I remember watching The Dirty Dozen with him several times. I am sure there were many others that I don't remember. If there weren't it's certainly because I refused to watch preferring to play Nintendo instead.
Braden took his first turn at watching Saving Private Ryan yesterday. This will probably be his last turn for a while though. By next year he will be old enough to be scarred by the language and violence. I might need to start looking now for some GI Joe DVDs to serve as our Memorial Day cinema in the near future.
Hopefully when Braden is older he will enjoy watching war movies with his Dad. I would love to share all the movies above and many others. I would love to sit down for an entire movie marathon with Braden, several buckets of popcorn, a 12 pack of Mt. Dew, and AMC some day. This is just another one of my interests that I hope to share with my son. Surely he will love these movies just like me.