Veterans tell emotional WWII story
RIFLE – Moving. Powerful. Emotional.Those are the words being used to describe the documentary “Lest They Be Forgotten,” which captures the real-life memories and recollections of World War II veterans across the country.Produced by independent filmmaker Larry Cappetto, of Grand Junction, the documentary will be shown at the Rifle Funeral Home in partnership with the Farnum-Holt Funeral Home of Glenwood Springs at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, which is also National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.”It’s the most powerful documentary I’ve ever watched,” said Kevin Brown, manager of the Rifle Funeral Home. “It’s very emotional. It’s been so many years since the war, but all the emotions are still there. It’s very moving and very powerful.”The first in a series of the “Lest They Be Forgotten” documentaries, this volume focuses on D-Day and the invasion of Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.A trailer of the documentary shows several veterans recalling their experiences fighting the Germans on Omaha Beach.”Looking around in that situation, it was impossible to really describe the chaos, the debris, the wrecked equipment and the wounded … and the dead,” said Leo Kiggins, with the 336th Engineer Battalion.Al Young, a World War II Navy veteran of Omaha Beach, breaks down during his interview.”Here we are in the middle of an invasion and you don’t realize it until you see …,” Young starts, but then puts his hand over his eyes and begins to cry.Cappetto has been working on the series for the past three years and has conducted nearly 200 interviews with World War II vets. The film has been shown across the country.”I focused on two major battles – D-Day in France and Iwo Jima in the South Pacific,” Cappetto said. “These documentaries are unique in that there are no narratives. It’s all from the veterans themselves. They are telling their story in a very unrehearsed manner.”According to Cappetto, about 1,500 veterans are dying every day and his goal was to preserve their memories and recollections before they are gone.”What has been missing is to hear the story of their patriotism, sacrifice and love of country in their own words,” Cappetto said. “I purposefully sought to document and honor their remembrances and memories without editorial comment.”Trey Holt, Garfield County coroner and owner of Farnum-Holt Funeral Home, encourages everyone to attend the free film – young, old, students and veterans.”This is pretty powerful stuff,” Holt said. “We want to have veterans come, and not just from World War II. We just want to recognize them.”Young people are also encouraged to come with their parents, and the film would be a historical education opportunity for school classes. The film is about one hour long, and refreshments will be served. Cappetto will be in attendance to answer any questions.”And if somebody needs a ride, they can call the Rifle Funeral Home, and we’ll make arrangements to pick them up,” Brown said.The documentary will be shown at 6 p.m. at the Rifle Funeral Home, 1400 Access Road in Rifle. An RSVP would be appreciated to gauge the number of attendees. For more information or to RSVP, call 625-1234. For more information or to order copies of “Lest They Be Forgotten,” contact Larry Cappetto at (970) 254-9262, e-mail email@example.com or visit the Web site at http://www.veteranshistory.org.
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