28May12:26 pmEST

Sunday Matinée at Market Chess Cinemas

On this Memorial Day Weekend, we honor those who died in war while serving in the U.S. military. The holiday traces back to the Civil War, in 1864, when it was called Decoration Day. It did not become an official federal holiday until 1971. 

With this in mind, it is appropriate to recommend two intertwined miniseries, both of which were presented on HBO: Band of Brothers (2001), and then The Pacific (2010), about World War II. 

I should say that while Band of Brothers deservedly received much attention and praise for its ten-part portrayal on HBO of the real-life "Easy Company" paratroopers on the western front in World War II, The Pacific is decidedly underrated. To be sure, Band of Brothers is very well done and a terrific production. But The Pacific ought not be overlooked. In fact, you will recognize several bigger name actors nowadays who were just coming up the Hollywood ladder back then in Band of Brothers. 

Regarding The Pacific, it was HBO's follow-up to Band of Brothers, chronicling the Marines during America's battle with the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II.

While the grit and horrors of war go without saying, harsh conditions for many soldiers on those islands in the Pacific facing brainwashed, suicidal Japanese soldiers seem to be lost in the shuffle of the heroism displayed by the Allies in defeating the Nazis in Europe. 

Another reason to check out The Pacific is to acknowledge a bonafide American hero, and Medal of Honor winner/Guadalcanal legend John Basilone (brilliantly played by Jon Seda) who would go on to die at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Both miniseries are readily available to watch, on demand for Amazon Prime members to stream, for example. I highly recommend both this weekend and beyond. 

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