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 CCU's 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.