Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have died in service to our country, a time to reflect on what their sacrifice means and a time to honor their memory.
It also happens to be the beginning of the summer blockbuster movie season, and we can't think of a better way of celebrating the long weekend than by watching a great movie.
Now, it may appear that we're being facetious. Or that we're trying to get around talking about a subject that could easily become political by tangentially relating it to something less serious (and, to be perfectly honest, something we know a little bit more about). But the fact is that the greatest moments in history and fiction have been encapsulated forever by great performances, great writers and great directors through the medium of film. What would Lawrence of Arabia be without the line "Nothing is Written"? or Animal House without "Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"?What better way of honoring those who died than by getting worked up over a speech that reminds us of them and that last full measure?
We scoured multiple video sharing sites to bring you 10 of the most inspiring battlefield speeches in film. If they don't move you the way they moved us, you officially have no soul.
10. George C. Scott in Patton
George C. Scott reminds us how much we love winners.
9. Viggo Mortensen in Lord of the Rings
Aragorn's speech, to the delight of nerds everywhere.
8. Kenneth Branagh in Henry V
It's Shakespeare. Ever heard of him?
7. Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman in Glory
Washington's timid, understated delivery juxtaposed with Freeman's robust, self-assured performance make this one of the best scenes in this film about the first black regiment in the United States Army.
6. Russell Crowe in Gladiator
The video's a little shaky, but it would be criminal not to include Maximus' speech to his soldiers before their final fight.
5. Kurt Russell in Miracle
Not every war is fought with on a battlefield.
4. John Belushi in Animal House
Not every war has has a well-defined purpose.
3. Mel Gibson in Braveheart
2. Liam Neeson in Michael Collins
I always felt like Liam Neeson never really got full recognition for his portrayal of IRA founder Michael Collins, especially since he kicks English ass so much better than Gibson did inBraveheart
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. In this rousing speech, Collins calls upon the people of Ireland to refuse to submit to English rule.
1. Bill Pullman in Independence Day
Excuse me, sweetie. Dad's gotta go kick some alien ass.