Memorial Day takes me back and helps put my personal and professional priorities where they properly belong. The name Michael Eugene Hoppers invariably appears front and center in my thoughts, but he represents many.
That's the spirit of Memorial Day; it's the remembrance of those who didn't come back alive, and a celebration of the esprit-de-corps and how they lived their lives.God bless the United States and those who stand watch over us tonight.
Every young boy in 1942 America knew Sergeant John Basilone fired from the hip. Cradling his water cooled .30 caliber machine gun in his arms, on the night of October 24, 1942 he mowed down dozens and dozens of onrushing enemy soldiers on the island of Guadalcanal.
Under new leadership, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 is going back to being the "Crusaders," complete with an insignia of a crusader shield with a big red cross on it and a crusader knight as its mascot.
I count wounded marines among my friends. Perhaps this is why the scene hit me so hard. But my personal history aside, this sequence is by far the movie's most nuanced and moving. It works unlike anything else in AOV aside from the bang-bang.