My dad, a naval veteran, choked up a bit at that scene. You're not the only one—it's far and away the best scene of the movie.
There is also the very nice moment when a vet speaks to Cora Raikes and welcomes her on duty, not as a woman in "his navy," but as a destroyer crewmember ready to perform with a battleship.
In the novelization, it goes into detail about why the veterans agreed to help Stone by saying they had seen the horrors of war and vowed "never again."
Also watching Canales who has literally admitted that he believes himself to be half a man and has "no will to live" slowly regain his posture and decorum as a warrior and then go head to head with an advanced alien as a double amputee. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming and a Crowning Moment Of Awesome. By far, my favorite character and plotline of the entire movie. Watching him get his medal first choked me up a bit.
This movie achieved a trifecta of heartwarming tributes: to elderly retired veterans, to disabled veterans of modern wars, and to the spirit of international cooperation. Impressive!