This weekend, remember to honor the brave dead who have given us freedom. Fly your flag. Go to the cemetary. Probably you will not spend the entire weekend outdoors, so rent a movie that reminds us of the cost of freedom.

A Waco Farmer is the real movie guy of this blog, so I invite him to add movies to this post that I have overlooked. Here's my suggested list. (cont.)

A Few Movie Suggestions for Memorial Day Weekend

The Patriot (2000) with Mel Gibson. Many historical problems with this movie about the American Revolution: it avoids the fact that some Southern patriots were slaveholders by making Gibson’s character a plantation owner with free labor; it makes the British forces into SS troops with unhistorical atrocities; and the Continental Army never promised freedom to slaves who fought in it. But, caveats aside, the sets and the battle scenes are very good, attention is paid to the French contribution to the Revolution, and the conflicting thoughts and emotions of the participants are obvious. And, I can’t help getting emotional when Mel Gibson waves the flag to rally the troops.

Glory (1989) with Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman. Basically accurate historically (focus on this one black unit, the Massachusetts 54th can overlook the contributions of others). Brings the Civil War to life including attitudes, motivations, and aspirations. The final scenes will break your heart.

Gettysburg (1993) and Gods and Generals (2003) A few mostly minor problems historically, but both great movies giving the viewer the feel of the Civil War and its participants.

The Red Badge of Courage (1951) by John Huston with Audie Murphy. An adaptation of Stephen Crane’s Civil War story. A great film that deserves a wider audience. Good portrayal of the reality of human thoughts and emotions during war.

The Big Red One (1980) with Lee Marvin. Focuses on the men fighting the war. Good movie.

Ike: Countdown to D-Day (2004) with Tom Selleck. Focuses on the planning and decision-making leading up to D-Day. Great movie showing the thinking, and politics, necessary during war.

Saving Private Ryan (1998) by Stephen Speilberg with Tom Hanks. “Earn this.”

We Were Soldiers (2002) with Mel Gibson. Finally, a Vietnam War movie that does justice to the Americans who fought.

Black Hawk Down (2001) Classic American courage under fire in Somalia.

United 93 (2006) If you haven’t seen it, get to a theater this weekend. A stark reminder that in the current war, the front lines can be anywhere.