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29 Best Memorial Day Movies For Families, According to All The Lists

What are you doing 30 minutes from now?

You could doom scroll the internet, clicking on all the sites, turn on the latest Lego movie (because it’s what your 3 year old wants to watch).

Or you can stay and find your family’s perfect Memorial Day movie from this list.

Memorial Day is one holiday you want to teach your kids to honor and remember those who have sacrificed for them and our country.

But how do you teach them about war without scaring them?

It depends and here’s why.

You shouldn’t sugarcoat and paint the world perfect for your kids.

This is a big disservice to them and demoralizes the sacrifice brave men and women have made.

Instead, look through this list of Memorial Day movies for your family and pick the film matching your child’s maturity level and age.

As your children mature, these films will give them a glimpse of the sacrifice men and women have made for them.

And they’ll serve as a springboard for family discussions on patriotism, sacrifice, service, God, and country.

A collage of military-themed movie posters, showcasing some of the best Memorial Day movies for families. Featured films include "Flags of Our Fathers," "Saints and Soldiers," "Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front," "Max," "Megan Leavey," "Patriot," "Crusade," and more. Each poster displays dramatic scenes and characters.

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29 Best Memorial Day Movies For Families, According to All The Lists

Here are the best Memorial Day movies that will entertain, educate, and bring your family closer together.

And don’t worry; we won’t ruin any plot twists for you.

So, press the popcorn button on your microwave, grab some blankets, and let’s dive into our top Memorial Day movie picks for families.

The cover of the movie “Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front,” one of the best Memorial Day movies for families, features Molly in a patriotic red, white, and blue outfit with her arms raised, standing in front of an American flag. Other girls in similar outfits are in the background.

Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front

Follow young Molly McIntire in her small town during the 1940s, just as America enters World War II. Everything changes when Molly’s dad joins the army and goes to England, and her mom starts working at a factory. Molly’s family also welcomes a refugee named Emily and deals with loss when Molly’s teacher’s fiancé dies in a bombing. Despite challenges, Molly stays positive and strong, reflecting the spirit of America during the war. It’s a heartwarming movie for the whole family to enjoy.

Rating: NR (likely be perfect for girls ages 8-12)

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A military dog wearing a harness sits alertly on rocky terrain with a smoky sky in the background. The word "MAX" is prominently displayed on the left side of the image, reminiscent of scenes from the best Memorial Day movies for families.


Max is a loyal military dog who faces big changes after his handler, Kyle, tragically passes away in Afghanistan. The dog’s brought back to America and finds a new home with Kyle’s younger brother, Justin. Together, they help each other heal from their sadness and fears. Justin learns to understand Max’s language of loyalty and love, and Max learns to trust again (even though his military history catches up with him).

Rating: PG (both my girls and boys loved this movie)

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A man wearing a black t-shirt, jeans, and a cap stands somberly among rows of white tombstones in a cemetery. The tombstones, reminiscent of scenes from the best Memorial Day movies for families, are arranged in orderly rows that stretch into the distance over green grass.

Honor Flight Movie

Honor Flight is a touching movie about World War II veterans and a community’s effort to honor them. It follows the journey of four veterans as they go on a special trip to Washington, DC to see the memorial dedicated to their service. For many of these veterans, it’s a chance to be thanked for the first time and their final adventure. This film shares the challenges of organizing these trips and inspiring stories of veterans like Orville, Julian, Joe, and Harvey. Their experiences on the Honor Flight not only bring out their war stories but also show the impact of their service on their lives.

Rating: NR

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Poster for the movie "Megan Leavey." A woman in military attire stands with a German Shepherd dog against a backdrop of the American flag. The text reads: "Kate Mara, Megan Leavey, Based on a True Story." One of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

Megan Leavey

This movie is based on a true story. Megan’s a brave young Marine who forms a special friendship with a military dog named Rex. Megan and Rex work together in Iraq, where their bond helps them save lives on over 100 missions. But when an explosion hurts them both, their future becomes uncertain. Watch to find out how Megan and Rex show courage and teamwork in the face of danger.

Rating: PG-13

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A person dressed in military attire and holding binoculars looks upwards, standing in front of a large American flag. The text "PATTON" is written at the bottom of the image, a fitting tribute among the best Memorial Day movies for families.


“Patton” is an exciting movie about George Patton, a famous military leader from the 20th century. Patton was a unique and colorful character who wasn’t afraid to stand out. He believed he had been a warrior in past lives and even designed his own uniforms. In the film, we see how he outsmarted the Nazis in Africa and led his troops across Europe after D-Day. But Patton wasn’t just known for his military genius; he was also known for his rebellious personality. While the movie isn’t completely accurate, it captures the essence of Patton’s life using his own words. Even though the tanks shown aren’t historically accurate, the movie still received praise, especially for Scott’s Oscar-winning performance.

Rating: PG

Watch the 10,000 5-star movie on Amazon

Movie poster for "Saints and Soldiers." The central image is a soldier viewed from behind, dressed in WWII-era attire with a medic armband, standing in a snowy field. The title is displayed at the top, and award laurels with "Best Picture" are featured on the right—one of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

Saints and Soldiers

My family and I own this gripping war movie. “Saints and Soldiers” has a Christian message that shares the story of a brave group of soldiers. When they narrowly escape a German attack, they hide in a shack where they overhear crucial enemy plans. Led by a man who speaks German, they embark on a mission to prevent further harm. Along the way, they encounter battles and challenges, but also themes of forgiveness, faith, and redemption. Despite some intense moments, the movie keeps language and graphic scenes to a minimum, making it suitable for viewers of all ages. Overall, it’s a well-made film that combines action with meaningful messages.

Rating: PG-13 (my children as young as 10 have seen this movie.)

Watch this movie on Amazon Prime

The image is a movie poster for "Flags of Our Fathers," a Clint Eastwood film. It features a group of soldiers raising an American flag on a battlefield, with the text "2-Disc Special Edition," "Mémoires de Nos Pères," and a quote praising the film as one of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

Flags of our Fathers

“Flags of Our Fathers” is a movie about bravery and respect, set during World War II. The story follows three main characters: Doc, Rene, and Ira. Through a series of interviews, we learn about their experiences during the war and after they returned home as heroes. Even though they were celebrated for raising the American flag at Iwo Jima, they faced challenges back home, especially Ira, who is Native American. The film shows how unfairly he’s treated despite his heroism. The screenplay is well-written, jumping between past and present seamlessly. Adam Beach’s performance is particularly moving, and the movie’s visuals are impressive. It’s a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made during the war and the importance of treating everyone with respect.

Rating: R (mature audiences only)

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Movie cover for "Glory," one of the best Memorial Day movies for families, featuring four main actors at the bottom: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman. Above them, soldiers with rifles are silhouetted against a dramatic sky, and "Glory" is written in a cursive font at the top.


This was the one of the first war movies I watched as a beanpole kid in middle school.

This is the story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, a group of African-American soldiers during the American Civil War. The movie starts with the Battle of Antietam in 1862 and shows how these brave soldiers fought even though the Confederates said they’d be enslaved if caught. They face a tough fight at the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, where they show incredible bravery, even though they don’t win. But their courage makes a big impact, with over 180,000 African Americans volunteering to fight. President Abraham Lincoln even gives them credit for helping turn the tide of the war. It’s a movie full of action and history, showing the power of standing up for what’s right.

Rating: R (for mature audiences only)

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The DVD cover of "Saving Private Ryan," one of the best Memorial Day movies for families, shows soldiers wearing helmets and military gear, with one prominently in front and others in the background. The text highlights the film’s title, main actors, director Steven Spielberg, and mentions 5 Academy Awards.

Saving Private Ryan

“Saving Private Ryan” is a movie about a group of American soldiers during World War II. Their leader, Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks), has to take them into enemy territory to find a guy named Private Ryan. Ryan’s brothers died in the war, and the army wants to bring him home. The soldiers face tough challenges and start to wonder if their mission is right. The movie won lots of awards and even has cool extras like a message from the director and behind-the-scenes stuff with the actors.

Rating: R (for mature audiences only)

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DVD cover of the film "Valkyrie" featuring Tom Cruise and other actors in military uniforms. The cover background is white with red and gray accents, with the title "VALKYRIE" in bold red letters. Tom Cruise's name is prominently displayed at the top. Perfect for your list of best Memorial Day movies for families.


Tom Cruise plays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a man who wants to stop Hitler during World War II. Stauffenberg joins a secret group with a plan to kill Hitler. They think they can use a government emergency plan called “Valkyrie” to take over after Hitler’s death. But things don’t go as planned, and Hitler stays in power. Even though we know the real history, the movie keeps us on the edge of our seats, wondering if assassinating one of the most evil tyrants in the world will work.

Rating: PG-13

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Cover art for the movie "American Sniper," hailed as one of the best Memorial Day movies for families, features a man in military gear looking to the side with a U.S. flag in the background. Text includes "4K Ultra HD," "Bradley Cooper," "Sienna Miller," and the movie title "American Sniper" at the bottom.

American Sniper

“American Sniper” tells the true story of Chris Kyle, a tough Texan who becomes the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history. Chris faces tough choices as he fights in Iraq, trying to protect his fellow soldiers and keep his country safe. But even when he’s back home with his family, the war still haunts him. It’s a gripping tale of bravery, sacrifice, and the heavy toll of war on those who fight it.

Rating: R (for mature audiences)

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Poster of the movie "Black Hawk Down," featuring a soldier sitting and holding a rifle against the backdrop of a helicopter. The text highlights awards: "Winner of 2 Academy Awards (2001) Best Film Editing Best Sound," tagline: "Leave No Man Behind," and credits the director of "Gladiator." A top pick among best Memorial Day movies for families.

Black Hawk Down

“Black Hawk Down” is a movie about a real-life event where American soldiers get stuck in a dangerous situation in Somalia. They’re on a mission to capture a warlord, but things go wrong, and their helicopters crash. Now, they must fight their way out of the chaos while facing enemy soldiers and trying to survive. It’s a gripping story of bravery, teamwork, and the challenges soldiers face in intense situations.

Rating: R (for mature audiences)

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A vintage movie poster for "Sergeant York" depicts a soldier in uniform and helmet, with bold text reading: "Gary Cooper Sergeant York." Background features red and white stripes with stars, and phrases like "Missiles! Jets! Tanks!" and "..it's still the guy with guts and a gun who wins the war! It's one of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

Sergeant York

“Sergeant York” tells the true story of Alvin York, a simple Tennessee man who becomes a hero in World War I. Alvin starts as a regular guy, just wanting to live his life peacefully. But when duty calls, he joins the army and shows incredible bravery, capturing lots of enemy soldiers all by himself. Along the way, he learns about courage, friendship, and sacrifice. It’s a movie full of action, heart, and the true meaning of being a hero.

Rating: NR (likely PG-13 today)

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DVD cover for the movie "The Patriot" featuring a determined man in historical attire with a musket slung over his shoulder. The title "The Patriot" and the actor's name "Mel Gibson" appear above him. The quote "Two Thumbs Up" is shown at the bottom. One of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

The Patriot

“The Patriot” is about a widow named Benjamin Martin, who just wants to live peacefully on his farm with his family. But then the Revolutionary War starts, and things get crazy. Benjamin’s son joins the fight, and Benjamin gets dragged into it too, even though he’s not so keen on fighting. But when a bad guy named Colonel Tavington does some nasty stuff, Benjamin decides he’s had enough. He rallies some folks to fight back, showing the need for the common man to stand up for what’s right, even if it’s tough.

Rating: R (for mature audiences)

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DVD cover for the film "Gettysburg" featuring close-ups of two bearded men in military uniforms at the top. Below, a large battlefield scene with soldiers and Confederate flags. The names "Tom Berenger," "Jeff Daniels," and "Martin Sheen" are prominently displayed, ideal for best Memorial Day movies for families.


“Gettysburg” is a movie centered on the same battle during the Civil War. The story follows both Union and Confederate soldiers as they fight tooth and nail over this little town called Gettysburg. You’ll meet brave soldiers, see epic battles, and feel the tension of a nation torn apart. It’s a mix of history and action that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat!

Rating: PG

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DVD cover of "The Tuskegee Airmen" featuring a close-up of a man in a military uniform and hat. Background shows three additional men in similar uniforms and two fighter planes in the sky. Text includes "Two Thumbs Up!" and "Based On The True Story Of The 332nd Fighter Squadron." One of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

The Tuskegee Airmen

Set during World War II, this movie tells the amazing true story of a group of African American pilots who faced prejudice and doubt but proved their courage and skill in the skies. Follow along as these brave pilots fight not only enemy planes but also discrimination, showing the world that talent knows no color. With thrilling aerial battles and inspiring determination, this movie is a must-watch for anyone who loves history and heroes.

Rating: PG-13 (I first saw this movie when I was about 12 years old)

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DVD cover of "The Great Escape" featuring Steve McQueen riding a motorcycle over barbed wire. The background shows a watchtower. Text includes names of stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, with the tagline "Based on a true story." One of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

The Great Escape

In “The Great Escape,” a group of brave soldiers tries to break free from a prisoner camp during World War II. Led by a clever officer, Steve McQueen, they make daring plans to escape. They dig tunnels, hide from guards, and face many challenges. But with teamwork and courage, they keep hope alive. Will they make it past the enemy and find their freedom? Watch to find out in this exciting adventure!

Rating: R (for mature audiences)

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DVD cover of the movie "Gods and Generals." The top features three men in Civil War-era uniforms. Below the title, a battlefield scene from the Civil War is depicted, with soldiers fighting and carrying flags. Text reads "Theatrical Version" at the top—a perfect choice for best Memorial Day movies for families.

Gods and Generals

“Gods and Generals” is a epic film that dives into the American Civil War, exploring the events leading up to the conflict and the individuals who shaped its course. Through the eyes of iconic figures such as Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, as well as Union leaders like Joshua Chamberlain, the film paints a vivid portrait of the complexities of war, honor, and sacrifice. Set against the backdrop of a nation torn apart by ideological divides, “Gods and Generals” captures the turmoil and heroism of one of the most pivotal periods in American history.

Rating: PG-13

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Cover of the movie "We Were Soldiers" featuring a soldier wearing a helmet, with an intense expression. An American flag is in the background. Below, helicopters fly over a battlefield scene. The text includes the actor's name and movie title—one of the best Memorial Day movies for families to watch together.

We Were Soldiers

“We Were Soldiers” depicts the harrowing true story of the Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War. Led by Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore, a group of young soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division faces overwhelming odds against the North Vietnamese Army. As they fight for survival in the unforgiving terrain, the bonds of brotherhood are tested amidst the chaos of war. Through courage, sacrifice, and unyielding determination, these soldiers demonstrate the indomitable spirit of those who served in one of the most brutal conflicts in history. “We Were Soldiers” is a tribute to the bravery and resilience of those who fought and died in the name of duty and honor.

Rating: R (for mature audiences)

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DVD cover of the movie "Midway," depicting two soldiers in front of a vintage military aircraft with explosions in the background. The title "MIDWAY" is prominently displayed at the top, along with the cast and the text "Based on Real Events." A perfect pick for best Memorial Day movies for families.


“Midway” chronicles the Battle of Midway during World War II, a clash between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy that changed the course of history. Through a blend of gripping action sequences and intimate character portraits, the film captures the bravery, sacrifice, and strategic brilliance of both sides. Tensions escalate and the fate of the Pacific hangs in the balance. “Midway” honors the heroes who fought and the sacrifices made in one of the most significant battles of WWII.

Rating: PG-13

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DVD cover for "A Few Good Men," Special Edition. Features close-up photos of Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore in military uniforms. An American flag is draped across the bottom, along with a quote praising the film and a gavel symbolizing justice. One of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

A Few Good Men

In “A Few Good Men,” Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, a talented but laid-back Navy lawyer, is assigned to defend two Marines accused of murdering a fellow soldier at Guantanamo Bay. As Kaffee dives deeper into the case, he realizes that the truth is more complex than it initially seemed, and he must confront the rigid military culture and his own doubts to uncover it. With tension escalating and the stakes mounting, Kaffee must navigate a web of loyalty, honor, and justice to uncover the shocking truth behind the crime. “A Few Good Men” is a gripping courtroom drama that explores the lengths individuals will go to protect their beliefs, and the sacrifices required to uphold the principles of truth and integrity.

Rating: R (for mature audiences)

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DVD cover of "Top Gun: Maverick," one of the best Memorial Day movies for families, featuring a fighter jet in the background with a pilot holding a helmet standing in front. The text reads "Tom Cruise" at the top, with "Top Gun: Maverick" prominently displayed in the center.

Top Gun: Maverik

In “Top Gun: Maverik,” Maverick returns, now a seasoned veteran, to mentor a new generation of hotshot pilots at the Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School. As tensions rise between the U.S. and an international adversary, Maverick and his protégés must navigate intense aerial battles, personal challenges, and the legacy of the past. With adrenaline-pumping action sequences, heartfelt camaraderie, and Maverick’s iconic Maverick spirit, the film captures the thrill and danger of modern aerial combat while honoring the legacy of the beloved original. Get ready to feel the need for speed all over again.

Rating: PG-13

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DVD cover of the film "Platoon" with a dramatic image of a soldier reaching upwards amidst a dark, smoky background. Two dog tags dangle over the title. The cover denotes that the film won 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Film Editing, and Sound in 1986—a top choice among the best Memorial Day movies for families.


In the heart of the Vietnam War, “Platoon” dives into the harrowing experiences of a young soldier, Chris Taylor. Freshly deployed, Taylor finds himself torn between two sergeants with opposing ideologies: the compassionate Barnes and the morally-driven Elias. As he navigates the brutalities of combat and the moral quagmire of war, Taylor struggles to maintain his humanity amidst the chaos. Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” explores the psychological toll of war, depicting the complexities of loyalty, morality, and survival in the middle of conflict.

Rating: R (for mature audiences)

Watch on Amazon Prime

Poster for "Band of Brothers," an HBO miniseries. The image features a group of soldiers in WWII-era uniforms and helmets, with somber expressions, standing close together. Below, the text reads, "They depended on each other. And the world depended on them." One of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

Band of Brothers

“Band of Brothers” follows the gripping and heroic journey of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, from their training in Georgia to the battles across Europe during World War II. Based on true events, this Emmy-winning mini-series explores the bonds of brotherhood forged in the middle of the chaos of war, highlighting the sacrifices, camaraderie, and resilience of soldiers who faced unimaginable challenges together. Through vivid storytelling and authentic portrayals, “Band of Brothers” honors the bravery and valor of the men who fought and triumphed against all odds, leaving an indelible mark on history.

Rating: TV-MA

Watch This Series on Amazon Prime

DVD cover for "The Longest Day," a war film. The top features three soldiers' faces beneath a label reading "FOX WAR CLASSICS." Below them, soldiers wade through water onto a beach. The title, "THE LONGEST DAY," is in large red letters. A quote and THX logo appear at the bottom. Perfect for the list of best Memorial Day movies for families.

The Longest Day

“The Longest Day” is a movie that tells the story of D-Day, the historic World War II invasion of Normandy, France. It follows the bravery and struggles of soldiers (John Wayne, Robert Ryan) from different countries who fought together to defeat Nazi Germany. Through action-packed scenes and gripping moments, viewers learn about the sacrifices made by these soldiers as they strive for victory. With its blend of courage, determination, and teamwork, this film honors the heroes who changed the course of history on that fateful day.

Rating: Unrated

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DVD cover of the movie "Fury," featuring Brad Pitt. On the cover, Pitt is in a military uniform with a tank and fellow soldiers in the background. The text includes Brad Pitt's name and a film review stating, "The best war film since Saving Private Ryan and Platoon." A top pick among best Memorial Day movies for families.


In the intense war movie “Fury,” a brave soldier named Wardaddy leads a small tank crew through dangerous battles during World War II. As they push deeper into enemy territory, they face overwhelming odds and must rely on each other to survive. Along the way, they confront the harsh realities of war and the bonds of brotherhood that hold them together. This is one heart-pounding journey.

Rating: R (for mature audiences)

Watch on Amazon Prime

Cover of the film "Back to Bataan" from the John Wayne Collection. The artwork features soldiers in battle, with one holding a rifle in the foreground. The title and actors' names, John Wayne and Anthony Quinn, are prominent. A "Parental guidance recommended" label is at the bottom left—one of the best Memorial Day movies for families.

Back To Bataan

“Back To Bataan” tells the story of a brave group of soldiers during World War II who fight against the Japanese invaders in the Philippines. Led by a tough but kind-hearted commander, they face danger and hardship as they strive to protect their homeland. With courage and teamwork, they embark on a daring mission to reclaim Bataan from the enemy. Along the way, they learn important lessons about loyalty, sacrifice, and the true meaning of patriotism. Will their bravery be enough to secure victory and bring hope to their fellow countrymen? Join them on their thrilling journey and discover the power of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

Rating: NR (mature audiences)

Watch on Amazon Prime

DVD cover for "The Hurt Locker." The cover features soldiers, one walking away from a large explosion, and another holding a rifle. The title "The Hurt Locker" is prominently displayed at the center, with the quote "A near-perfect movie" above it. A top pick among the best Memorial Day movies for families.


In “Hurtlocker,” follow the brave soldiers in Iraq as they face danger and challenges every day. Sergeant James leads a team responsible for defusing bombs, but the job is risky. As they navigate through the chaos of war, tensions rise among the soldiers, testing their courage and loyalty. With each bomb they dismantle, the stakes get higher, and the line between life and death becomes thinner. Will they make it out alive? “Hurtlocker” is a thrilling tale of bravery, friendship, and the harsh realities of war.

Rating: R (for mature audiences only)

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A visual poster for the movie M*A*S*H, heralded as one of the best Memorial Day movies for families. The image features a hand forming a peace sign, with two legs in high heels replacing the fingers. The hand wears a military helmet adorned with the American flag. The title "M*A*S*H" is displayed at the top.


“M.A.S.H.” is a TV show about a group of doctors and nurses working in a mobile army hospital during the Korean War. They face challenges and humor while caring for wounded soldiers and dealing with the stresses of war.

Rating: PG

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What Memorial Day movies would you tell a family to watch? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

And for the families of those who have passed away in the service of their country, we honor and thank you for your family’s sacrifice.

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