Eversmann's goodbye speech to his dead comrade at the end, all the way through to the pre-credits list of all the men who died in the real operation. The accompanying music only serves to drive the feeling home.
As the above list runs, you can actually hear one of the soldier's farewell letters to his wife. It ends with the heartbreaking words "So, in closing my love, tuck my children in bed warmly, tell them I love them, and then hug them for me, and give them a kiss goodnight for daddy."
And then, just when you think you're safe, they play "The Minstrel Boy" over the closing credits.
General Garrison getting down on his hands and knees to wipe up the blood spilling on the hospital floor.
Made even worse by the fact that no matter how much he tries to wipe up the blood, all he ends up doing is spreading it around.note This is a rather harsh treatment of Garrison, who actually managed to salvage a terrible situation, and managed to avoid significant casualties to his 120-man team despite the amazingly bad turn of events portrayed in the book and the film. In the book, the author specifically goes out of his way to point out that Garrison was not at fault, and most likely saved the entire force with his quick thinking and command judgment.
The Last Stand of Gordon and Shughart. Made even worse by the fact that it turns into a Senseless Sacrifice, as Durant is captured by the Somali militia anyway.
But ultimately, Durant survived to return home safe and sound. If Shughart and Gordon don't volunteer to give themselves up, maybe the Somalis get to Durant before the militia can arrive to "save" him and keep him alive.
Gets worse when Shughart's parents were present to receive the Medal of Honor. The father criticized President Clinton for not doing enough to help the two men survive Somalia.
Dude, every five-ten minutes after Durant gets captured is a Tear Jerker.
Shughart and Gordon securing the crash site of Super 64. Likewise the agonizing scene where a Delta medic performs first aid on Corporal Smith's leg wound.
The exact moment when the Delta Commander asks them to verbally acknowledge their request, for the record, knowing that they're voluntarily going to their deaths to (maybe) save a fallen comrade.
And Corporal Smith's subsequent death scene.
Captain Steele has a touching moment with Sgt. Lorenzo Ruiz in the field hospital after the battle. Ruiz says, "Do not go back out there without me," and Steele cannot even say anything, so he simply clasps hands with Ruiz. If you miss the very subtle exchange between Steele and the doctor as he approaches, it can hit you like a ton of bricks when Ruiz's name appears among the KIA in the credits.
In real life, Ruiz died while being medevac’d to Germany.
The sad and untimely death of Dominick Pilla, the first KIA in the operation. It overwhelms his fellow Rangers, and only iron-hearted D-Boy Hoot can snap them out of it by confirming, yes he's dead. We then see a brief, but somehow still all-too-lingering montage of how the poor seargeant's death has affected Colonel McKnight, Lieutant Steele (despite his being slightly pissed off, if amused, at Pilla lampooning him the prior night), the airborne colonels, Sgt. Eversmann and General Garrison, some looking dazed with shock, some utterly choked up even as they try to tank the loss and prepare for the rest of the mission's events.