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D-Day program at CCU to honor veterans on Nov. 11

October 26, 2005

Area veterans will be guests of honor at A Salute to All American Veterans on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium at Coastal Carolina University.

The program features the premiere of a new documentary film about D-Day, D-Day Remembered: June 4, 1944, which includes filmed commentary by local D-Day veterans. The event is free and open to the public; it is sponsored by Coastal Carolina University and Goldfinch Funeral Services.

D-Day Remembered: June 4, 1944 features battlefield scenes shot in Normandy this summer, archival footage from World War II, and on-camera memoirs by local D-Day veterans. The film was produced by Rod Gragg, an adjunct professor of history at Coastal and author of From Foxholes & Flight Decks: Letters Home from World War II. Co-producers were CCUs David Parker, who directed the cinematography, and Dennis Reed, who oversaw the digital editing of the program.

A combination travelogue and historical documentary, the film profiles the events of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of German-occupied France, which began on D-Day June 6, 1944. \The joint military operation involved more than 150,000 Allied troops, almost 5,000 ships and landing craft, 13,000 aircraft, 3,500 airborne gliders, and more than 2-million tons of equipment.

Footage for the film was shot at historical sites in Normandy such as Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, Pointe-du-Hoc, Ste-Mere-Eglise and the Orne River Bridge. On-camera commentary was provided by local D-Day veterans Mike Fitch and Bill Lester of Conway, and Harry Lavin and John Revel of Myrtle Beach.

In addition to the premiere of the film, A Salute to All American Veterans will feature patriotic music and public recognition of all American veterans in attendance. The public is invited, and complimentary refreshments will be provided.