Forest Gump – My 4th of July Tribute to the Vietnam War Veterans

I guess Forest Gump is a comedy, but it is so much more than a cheap laugh that I hate to call it that. Part of the movie deals with the Vietnam War, and the soundtrack is an excellent bit of nostalgia for people my age–people who were teens and young adults growing up during that time. Forest Gump is also a penetrating look into humanity–those who are human, with a capacity for empathy and caring–and those who are not.

Through Forest, we are able to see that people who have limitations in one area are often superior in others. Jenny is a person who has been beaten up by life, but she stands up for Forest, and the way that their relationship is allowed to evolve in the movie is beautiful.

The movie Forest Gump makes me laugh; it makes me jump up and shout to cheer Forest on; and it makes me weep. Any movie that can do all three of those things should be destined for great things, and in the case of Forest Gump, the critics agreed with that.

In 1995, Forest Gump won the following Oscars:

  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Actor in a Leading Role
  3. Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  4. Best Director
  5. Best Writing
  6. Best Visual Effects
  7. Best Film Editing

Gary Sinise was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and it is through his role that we are allowed to experience some of the devastation of the Vietnam War.

I wouldn’t call Forest Gump a War Movie, but it certainly a great portrayal of life at the time of the Vietnam War. Anyone my age will recognize the songs from the Forest Gump Soundtrack. These songs became synonymous with the Vietnam War and slightly before that time. The songs from the movie Forest Gump are the songs of my youth.

Songs from the Forest Gump Soundtrack

Rebel Rouser

I Don’t Know Why

Walk Right In

Land of 1.000 Dances

Blowin in the Wind – Joan Baez

Fortunate Son

I Can’t Help Myself


Rainy Day Women

Sloop John B

California Dreamin

For What It’s Worth

What the World Needs Now, Is Love, Sweet Love

Break on Through to the Other Side

Mrs. Robinson

Get Together

San Francisco

Turn, Turn, Turn


Everybody’s Talkin

Joy to the World

Stoned Love


Mr. President, Have Pity

Sweet Home, Alabama

Running on Empty

It Keeps You Running

I’ve Got to Use My Imagination

Go Your Own Way

On the Road Again



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