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Three Things To Watch (Again) On HBO For Memorial Day

If you’re anything like me, you’re an avid viewer of military-related films and television shows. From Tora! Tora! Tora! to Platoon to Saving Private Ryan to Black Hawk Down to Jarhead, the cinematic portrayals of historical military conflicts and war provide history fanatics like myself a brief visual of what our brave men and women face everyday in theatre. As Memorial Day honors those soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, HBO has three of its own productions based on the true stories of those who fought and died serving their nation.

Band Of Brothers

One of two Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg productions, Band Of Brothers tells the story of the men who served in the US Army’s Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. From training to D-Day to the end of the war, Band Of Brothers is one of HBO’s greatest accomplishments. Building off of Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan with a fact-based account of the real-life heroes, the series is based on the novel of the same name written by Stephen E. Ambrose. With an all-star lineup current of future stars (including Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston, Donnie Wahlberg, David Schwimmer, Michael Cudlitz, Neal McDonough, Michael Fassbender, Simon Pegg, Colin Hanks, Tom Hardy, and JamesMcAvoy), Band Of Brothers is must-see storytelling, whether it’s your first or hundredth time watching.

Taking Chance

Released by HBO in 2009, Taking Chance is based on the journal of Lt. Col. Michael R. Strobl, a volunteer military escort officer. Played by Kevin Bacon, Strobl is tasked with accompanying the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming. A somber and emotional film, Bacon is exquisite in presenting a character devoting himself to presenting this fallen young soldier with the utmost respect to his family. Costarring Tom Aldredge, Blanche Baker, and Luke Cage‘s Mike Colter, Taking Chance is worth the watch.

The Pacific

In the Hanks/Spielberg-produced follow-up to Band Of Brothers, The Pacific focuses on the Pacific Theatre Of World War II through the eyes of several young Marines. Based on multiple true stories, one of those that stand out is the story of Sgt. John Basilone, played by Jon Seda (Chicago P.D.). The series not only focuses on the battles fought against the Japanese, but also the mental and emotional battles these men faced when they returned home from service. Starring Seda, James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello, Rami Malek, Ashton Holmes, Josh Helman, Lelia Goldoni, The Punisher‘s Jon Bernthal, and William Sadler, The Pacific is a perfect partner to its excellent predecessor.

Today, honor those who paid with their lives. Visit a cemetery. Participate in a parade. Tell your family you love them. And if you have the time, check out these HBO productions and learn about those who lost their lives while serving their country—and maybe look into picking up the books they were based on.

“In thinking back on the days of Easy Company, I’m treasuring my remark to a grandson who asked, ‘Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?’
‘No,’ I answered, ‘but I served in a company of heroes.'”

Do you have any other suggestions for films or TV shows to watch on this Memorial Day? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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