It seems these days that every Christmas we are reminded of those who want to take Christ out of Christmas, but what about those who have taken the "memory" from Memorial Day and turned it instead into a holiday devoted to great deals on refrigerators at Best Buy? Or the blow-out sales at your local car dealership? Or perhaps it is about gathering with family and throwing some burgers on the barbecue while the kids splash around in the pool. This is the trend I saw yesterday.
While hanging out with friends and going shopping is great, we know in our hearts that that's not what this holiday was about. It's about taking one day –just one day out of our busy year to remember the brave men and women who put on the uniform in our stead and defend our country and the values we stand for. But most didn’t even do that.
Soldiers go and fight a war, and then come home and fight another kind of war. What must it be like for a soldier sitting at home watching commercials for the annual Memorial Day events, all the while realizing what he really needs – if anyone was asking – is not a new car, but rather a new leg, or relief from his PTSD-induced nightmares, or a simple understanding from those around him? While America celebrates this day with friends and family, how many of us did something – anything – to honor and remember our brave men and women in uniform?
We have one slightly self-serving suggestion for how you can spend this time of year: you see we made a film called The Hornet’s Nest in the hope that we could bring stories of our heroic soldiers back home to the American heartland. We wanted to make a film that shows the real life of these soldiers. We have travelled the world visiting with troops and their families, sharing their joy and their pain and taking on the mission these soldiers always charge us with: “Please fight for us – tell America what is really going on.”
So we did just that. Our movie isn't a fictionalized Hollywood movie – it's the real deal. You'll be there with our troops as bullets whiz overhead, as they face moments of disappointment, courage and triumph. And yes, you'll suffer through the tragic loss of brave members of their company who didn't make it through the battle.
So this Memorial day season, we hope you'll consider putting a pause on the Memorial Day shopping for a few hours and put the “memory” back in Memorial Day, giving our troops the time they deserve to thank them for what they've done for us.
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