When Turner Classic Movies released this promo for their Memorial Day lineup of programming in 2007, the youngest World War II veterans were entering their Eighties and the youngest Korean War vets were entering their mid-70s. The youngest Vietnam War vets were entering their fifties, not that Vietnam War vets have ever mattered to Turner Classic Movies when it comes to "honoring sacrifice."
Fifteen years later, it's another Memorial Day Weekend and like clockwork we are being inundated with one World War II According to Hollywood film after another, because there's apparently no other way to show appreciation for our veterans than to remind the very few who are left that the United States used to fight honorable wars against real threats to humanity and that the 100 percent white American army saved the world from those threats without blinking an eye when called upon to do so because Back Then People Respected Authority and Loved the Flag and God.
I've always wondered why any veteran of any war would want to be reminded every single year of what was almost certainly the Worst Years of their Lives, or why reminding people of those wars they once read about in textbooks is seen as such a vital mission by networks like TCM. If I had seen combat in any war I think it's something I'd rather forget, not have shoved in my face by well-meaning networks or politicians or car dealerships. Of course, the youngest World War II veteran (practically the entire TCM lineup this weekend is World War II-themed films) is in his mid-90s, so chances are that very, very few of them will be watching TCM this weekend anyway. Here's hoping they are spending time with their great-grandchildren and eating big cheeseburgers at a picnic table instead. They've earned it.