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Celebrate National Medal of Honor Day with Recipient-Inspired Films

To honor this special commemoration, we’re sharing our list of top 10 movies based on real-life Medal of Honor recipients. But first, a little bit about the Medal of Honor award.

The Medal of Honor recognizes esteemed servicemen and women. Photo: Unsplash.

Honoring Our Heroes: About the Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the most prestigious military honor our nation can bestow upon a deserving member of the U.S. armed forces; no other honor is greater or more laudable. The inaugural awards were given on March 25, 1863 for the heroic actions of 6 men of the Civil War era. Congress has since declared March 25th as the official holiday to honor this celebration of bravery, grit, and heroism. 

This award recognizes esteemed servicemen and women who demonstrate "gallantry and intrepidity." Since itsinception, 3,516 Medals of Honor have been awarded. These awards have gone to servicemen from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, as well as one servicewoman (Civil War surgeon and abolitionist Dr. Mary Edwards Walker). The most recent Medal of Honor was awarded in 2015 to Captain Florent A. Groberg, US Army (Ret) for heroic actions while serving in Afghanistan in 2012.

These recipients have demonstrated strong leadership under duress as well as a willingness to put their own lives at risk for the safety of their fellow servicemen and countrymen. It is truly an honor to know and learn about such veterans, over 70 of whom are still alive. 

Netflix N’ Say Thanks: 10 Movies Based on Real-Life Medal of Honor Recipients

We pledge to honor and remember all of our brave veterans, especially our Medal of Honor recipients, by bearing witness to their incredible stories and acts of bravery. This National Medal of Honor Day, consider watching one of the following movies to learn more about some of our nation's bravest heroes: 

1. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

This 2016 is inspired by the story of WWII Army Medic Desmond Doss, the first man to receive a Medal of Honor award without ever even using his firearm. 

2. Glory (1989)

This classic American Civil war film tells the story of the United States's first all-African-American regiment. In this film, featuring superstar actors like Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman,  depicts the fearless actions of Army Sgt. William H Carney. Carney became the first African American and former slave to receive the Medal of Honor.

3. Gettysburg (1993)

The iconic American Civil War battle featured the brave actions of Medal of Honor recipient Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. 

4. Pearl Harbor (2001)

A day that will live in infamy, portrayed in a major blockbuster film from the early 2000's. Watch this movie to learn a bit about Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Col. James Doolittle, played by Alec Baldwin. This film also features the likes of Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett.

5. In Love and War (1987) 

This made-for-TV film starring James Woods tells the story of Vietnam POW and Medal of Honor recipient US Navy Commander Adm. James Stockdale.

6. MacArthur (1977)

General Douglas MacArthur, about whom this film was made, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his leadership and achievements in WWII and the Korean War.

7. The Longest Day (1962)

D-Day was a pivotal turning point in World War II. Included in this movie is the story of Medal of Honor recipient Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

8. Rough Riders (1997)

Learn about Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt in his courageous role during the Spanish-American War. He was first President of the United States to receive this award.

9. The Lost Battalion (2001)

Made for TV, this film chronicles the heroic WWI exploits of Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Charles White Whittlesey, played by Ricky Schroder.

10. Lone Survivor (2013)

This movie exploded in popularity and honors the Medal of Honor recipient, United States Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy for sacrificing himself to for his team. Mark Wahlberg fans may especially like this one.

A Few Bonus Ways to Honor The Ones Who Serve

Looking for another way to honor a veteran in your life this Medal of Honor Day? Check out these creative ideas:

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