Memorial Day is a time for reflection, more so than a time for celebration. Obviously, nowadays it’s a date for barbecues and the beach, but that wasn’t always the case. Going back to the days of the Civil War, Memorial Day was always intended just to pay tribute to United States servicemen and servicewomen who have lost their lives in combat.  I do want to look at some films that honor the spirit of this holiday. The cineplex might currently have escapism like Captain America: Civil War playing, but these titles I’ll be listing are modern classics and a bit more somber, if nothing else.

Recent titles like American Sniper and Lone Survivor have worked, with varying degrees of success, as tributes to fallen U.S. soldiers, so while they’re not on this list, the aspect of honoring fallen soldiers or those killed in acts of war stays true here. Focusing on those we’ve lost, as is the intention of this holiday, is a clear goal, but I’m also honoring the living as well.

I’ve excluded some classics in order to present a bit of a more unique, expansive list than those others out you might have seen before.

Click through the slideshow to see the list and include your own in the comments section below: