In what proves to be a rare episode out of Hollywood, actor Chris Pratt shared a long, moving tribute Monday to mark Memorial Day, and had a special message for those all too eager to criticize the United States.
The Marvel films star paid tribute on Instagram to the fallen men and women who have served the United States, with an emphasis on the real price of freedom and to never take it for granted.
A moving photograph of a pair of U.S. Marines kneeling before the grave of a fallen comrade accompanied the message, along with nine other images that captured the intense outpouring of emotion from family members, loved ones and fellow soldiers for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“America’s exceptional armed forces have altered the course of the world for the better. From the Union Army defeating slave owning confederates, to the Greatest Generation and her Allies vanquishing the Nazis or our special operators hunting down the perpetrators of 9/11,” Pratt said. “We count the names of each fallen soldier lest they be countless. They are the good guys. They run to the sound of gunfire. They know pain and suffering we never will. They have given us the most free and decent society planet earth has ever seen.”
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Looking forward, the “Jurassic World” star spoke of informing America’s youth of the importance of such sacrifice.
“We run the risk of losing that decency when we fail to instill gratitude in the minds of our youth or the perspective of what it actually means to be free — should they never learn of the selfless sacrifice of our armed service members in the face of oppressive evil. So join me in showing support for our fallen,” he added.
As for those prone to criticize America, Pratt supported constructive criticism while reminding his millions of fans that in some countries today, criticizing the government can get a person killed.
“Take a quiet moment to really consider the sacrifice,” he continued. “And if you use the comments section on posts like this to bitch and moan about America please understand there are countries in the world where criticizing your government will get you killed or imprisoned. Criticism is a right and necessity in amending the flawed systems of man. So by all means, let your voice be heard. But never forget your right to free expression is paid for in blood. May God give their souls rest, and may they live in our memories this weekend and always.”
British-born Nigerian actor David Oyelowo was among those who responded to the post.
“Deeply moving. Thank you to the troops and their families for the sacrifice,” the star of “The Water Man” wrote.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier also responded — with one word: “Powerful.”
Pratt’s mother-in-law Maria Shriver wrote: “So well said Chris thank you For sharing these photos and this message we all owe deep gratitude to those who lost their lives. For us and their families who are left behind we must hold them on this day.”
In 2019, Pratt married Katherine Schwarzenegger, the eldest of four children Shriver had with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Here is a quick sampling of other responses from Twitter, after the “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor shared a link there to the Instagram post:
Chris, I don’t get on Twitter very often, and I certainly don’t follow many celebrities. I’m a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and I just wanted to thank you on behalf of all my brothers and sisters who have lost friends and family. God bless you, sir.
— RealDavidWolford (@WolfordReal) June 1, 2021
I was impressed and moved by your post to Instagram. I have no words for the men and women who have given so much, in some cases their all, to keep this country and the world safe from so many evils.
— Victor Kohnke (@vkkohnke) June 1, 2021
Well saying Chris and really appreciated that. My family generation been in War since WWII… my sister deployed in 1st Dessert Storm, I was in high school… several of my nephews deployed in Iraq/Afghanistan… They shared their unconditional bonds with soldiers. It’s feeling.
— S. Efren Alvarez (@SEfrenAlvarez3) May 31, 2021
Thank you for posting. THIS is what Memorial day is about. Not a long weekend or the beach. Its not for those serving or vets; its to remember those who paid the ultimate price and those they left behind.
— This_Thing_On? (@rodrick_goins) May 31, 2021
Thank you Chris Pratt. You help me realize why I joined the military and plan to keep doing it.
— Jason Marroquin (@crashbmaster) June 1, 2021
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