In 1993 twelve year old Kyle finds his grandfathers footlocker hidden in the barn. Full of old WWII souvenirs his grandfather reluctantly agrees to tell the story behind any 3 items Kyle chooses from the box. And so his stories are told. 12 years later Kyle lies wounded in a military hospital in Iraq. He tells the story of the footlocker to his residing nurse. Kyle's own war story is also told as the film pin-balls between the 3 time frames. Memorial Day is an effective and understated war film. Sometimes when opposing generations are featured in these types of stories they can fall victim to over sentimentality. I think this one is handled really well. James Cromwell is wonderful as the old man burdened with a memory of war and I was blown away at how incredibly well the younger version of his character was played. Not only did the actor look exactly like James Cromwell but he sounded just like him too... having looked at the poster I wasn't surprised to discover that it was his own son, John Cromwell. A stroke of genius really because it made his story so much more powerful and refined. The Iraq portion of the film was shot deceptively. It is mostly framed tightly which I imagine is because of budgetary restraints but I assume that most viewers won't notice. I went into the film not expecting much and came away from it nourished. It ends on a moving note as a final salute to those who have fallen in war. Nicely done.