Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial day Weekend Movie Marathon and other Memorial day thoughts

I don't know about  you, but ever since Spielberg did a film about WWII, Memorial day hasn't been the same for me.  I consider it more than just a day of remembrance.  More than just making the trek to two different cemeteries in two different cities to remember mine and Splenda's dads with flowers.  More than an opportunity to have a picnic, barbecue, party.  More than the unofficial kick off to summer with camping, boating or other getaways.

No.  For me, it's much much more.  And now that we are becoming part of the Marine family, the purpose of the holiday is even more apparent to me.  This guy did a great post about it as well.  His post is short and to the point.  Take a second to read it.

Memorial day is the day to not just remember those in our circle of family and friends who have passed on but to REMEMBER and ACKNOWLEDGE and EXPRESS GRATITUDE to those who died in the service of our country and who serve now. 

The big holiday weekend is fast approaching.  Every blogger I know within 200 miles of Utah seems to be coming in for the big Casual Blogger Conference.  I am one of the few who made a choice not to attend.  Now don't get me wrong, I think it's a great way to network if that's your thing.  Sadly, it's not mine.  And although there are some VERY cool women who will be there that I would like either see again or to meet IRL, I couldn't see myself using this special holiday weekend for it.  No judging  of those who are going...... please understand that.  It's just not my thing.

Instead, we will have Sissy starting early tomorrow morning until Monday night.  First off - how great is that?  A long weekend with my love.    Secondly, the Marine's in the valley are doing a special event for all the current poolee's and their families.  I can't think of a better thing to do.  Thirdly, I am a woman of tradition.  There is a movie I have to watch every single Memorial Day.  Every year.  Without fail.  And now, I have a second movie to add to that tradition.  What are they?

Saving Private Ryan

I remember the first time I saw this film.  A buddy and I left work for a few hours the day it premiered and walked to the theater down the street.  There were few people since it was the middle of the day.  The only other ones in the theater were vets.  In their hats, jackets or other memorabilia signifying their service.  I remember munching on popcorn and laughing.  The lights went down, the film started and I didn't make another move for about 3 hours.  I have never been the same.  I cannot look at the flag and not feel something deep, deep inside.   I can't see someone in a military uniform or camo's without being stirred.
I remember telling Splenda that he needed to see it.  We went to a late showing a few nights later.  The theater was packed.  People were eating popcorn, slurping their cokes and noisily digging in their raisinet boxes.  I remember looking around them and thinking, "you have no idea what's coming".    And once again, the lights went down, the film began and not another sound was heard.  With the exception of sobbing.
As soon as it became available on DVD I purchased it.  I'm picky about what rated R films I own, but this was a must.  I allowed my sons to watch it.  We did together.  We talked about it.  We felt gratitude for so many brave men and all that they went through to protect us and save our freedoms.  It instilled patriotism in the Cat house at a whole new level.

Since then, it's been a tradition to pull that DVD out at this time of year, and at some point in the weekend, watch it and be reminded and feel grateful again.

Now with 'dawg taking the path he is, the military, particularly the Marine's, and all that they do has become forefront on my mind.  On my BFC's recommendation, we purchased Taking Chance.  'dawg and I watched it.  It took me several hours to process it all.  I needed to see it again, and I needed to see all the special features that are on the DVD.

So, last weekend, Splenda and I had rented The Hurt Locker (war movies are high on our rotation now).  It won the Oscar for best picture.  Meh. 

We then watched Taking Chance and all the special features.

Now THAT was Best Picture.  It's now made it to the list of traditions that will need to be watched this special holiday weekend.  It instills a feeling of patriotism that is hard to describe.  To think my son will soon one day be in Afghanistan and likely facing the same dangers, it humbles me.  It makes me proud of him and every other man and woman who chooses to devote a period of their life (sometimes their whole career) to serving, defending and protecting our sacred freedoms.

So as you go about your long holiday weekend, I hope you'll take a few hours and watch one, the other or both of the films I mentioned in between your parties and get togethers..   If you've seen them before, renew that feeling of patriotism and gratitude.  If you haven't, you won't be disappointed.  And I'd love to hear what you think.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

God bless our troops!

Semper Fidelis and..................   OORAH!


Braden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Braden said...

Great post, Melissa. This gives me a lot of good stuff to think about.

tammy said...

Awesome post!!

Ever since we lost my BIL in Iraq, Memorial Day has had an extra special meaning to me. I think a lot of people think only of vacation and forget to remember those that have served our country. Hell, even BO scheduled a family vacation instead of doing his duty and paying his respect at Arlington Cemetary because the poor family hasn't been home since February. Poor, poor babies. Just another reason he's losing all respect.

Saving Private Ryan is an all-time favorite in our house. We watched The Hurt Locker, but it was hard for me since Greg was killed by an IED. I think I will make it a plan for us to watch Taking Chance this weekend. Thanks for that recommendation.

carma said...

Thank you to your son for his service. My cousin is a captain stationed in Iraq and he is expected to be home soon :-)

enjoy your Memorial Day.

I see you are soon to be an empty-nester - well done!

Lindzena said...

No worries, I'm not going to the blogger conference either. :)

I love memorial day. It really gives you a chance to reflect on where you came from. Though I myself don't really have many friends or relatives in the military, I've studied and watched what our country has been through all my life. I respect these people more than I have words to say.

Wonderful post. Though I dislike war movies, I might have to look into one or two in light of the holiday. :)

tiburon said...

Super fantastic post!

I want to come cuddle with you and watch SPR.

And can we borrow Taking Chance from you? I want to watch it.

Wonder Woman said...

I've never seen SPR. I wanted to. It was on cable a week or two ago and I started to watch but was only able to see 20 minutes, for some reason. Kids, probably.

Holidays are hard for my little family since we are so far away from our extended family. No traditions, really. I have only lost one grandparent, so far, and he's buried in Kansas. We don't camp. We BBQ with friends on Memorial Day, but I'm not even sure we'll be doing that this year. I'm only going to social thing tomorrow night, but mostly 'cuz I didn't have a legitimate reason to pony up all the cash.

Superman served in the Army Reserves and so while military holidays are close to my heart, I don't have the undying patriotism I should have. Well, that's not true. I love my country and am forever grateful for those who have died and left their families to defend it.

linda said...

What a wonderful, heartfelt post Melissa. Thank you!

No bbq or parties here either. I will be working tomorrow and Saturday (and maybe Monday too).

I've got my flag flying proudly outside right now. I find the older I get, the more I love America and the freedom we take for granted. I'm so very thankful this Memorial Day, and everyday, to all of the vets and servicemen who risk their lives on our behalf. God bless them all!

Pedaling said...

thanks for the movie recommendations and beautiful post.


Thank You for the great reminder!!!

Jenny said...

I was 8 months pregnant when I saw this in the theater. Infact I had to pee in the middle, but tried with all my might to hold it. Because I did not want to miss one bit of the movie. I loved it!