Films That Honor the Fallen

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Family, friends, and loved ones visit gravesites in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, May 27, 2019. (U.S. Army/Elizabeth Fraser)
Family, friends, and loved ones visit gravesites in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, May 27, 2019. (U.S. Army/Elizabeth Fraser)

​​Veterans Day is a time to honor the men and women who've served our country. While the emphasis is on celebrating veterans who are still with us, some Americans may want to take a moment to remember those who are no longer with us.

We've chosen five movies that honor fallen service members in case you want a moment of reflection after you've enjoyed a free Veterans Day meal from your favorite restaurant.

"Black Hawk Down" (2001)

    The men who fought and died in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 weren't expecting full-blown combat when they went on a raid to capture warlord Gen. Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Director Ridley Scott's classic movie captures the chaos of battle after giving the audience a connection to each of the men the movie celebrates. "Black Hawk Down" combines amazing action with emotional engagement like no other movie.

    Related: 5 Things You Didn't Know About 'Black Hawk Down'

    "The Outpost" (2020)

    As it stands now, "The Outpost" is the finest movie about the Afghanistan War. Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha (played by Scott Eastwood) and Spc. Ty Carter (Caleb Landry Jones) were both awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the brutal 2009 attacks on PRT Kamdesh.

    Related: 'The Outpost' Powerfully Confronts the Contradictions of the War in Afghanistan

    "1917" (2019)

    Veterans Day started out as Armistice Day, which celebrated the Nov. 11, 1918, end of World War I. "1917," a movie that plays out as one long, continuous take follows young British soldiers on a mission to deliver critical intel that could save the lives of their fellow troops. Over the course of their mission, we see the devastation and human cost of the most brutal combat the world had ever witnessed at that point in history.

    Related: How '1917' Taught a New Generation to Care About World War I

    "Last Flag Flying" (2017)

    Not enough people have seen this incredibly moving movie about a Vietnam veteran who recruits his war buddies to go on a trip to bury his son, who was killed in the Iraq war. Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne star in a film based on a novel that's a sequel to "The Last Detail."

    Related: 'Last Flag Flying' & The Ties That Bind

    "Saving Private Ryan" (1998)

    After an opening that may be the most devastating depiction of combat ever filmed by Hollywood, "Saving Private Ryan" spends the rest of its running time emphasizing the importance of brotherhood in combat and confronting the audience with the cost of war by killing off characters they've grown to love.

    Related: These Are the Real Brothers Behind 'Saving Private Ryan'

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