Most people say they appreciate members of the U.S. military and the veterans who have served our country. But how many will be flying their flags on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, to actually show their pride and respect for our military? As a veteran of World War II, a Master Sergeant, I salute all who have interrupted their lives, and the lives of their families, to put on the uniform. Those men and women and their families are true patriots, so honor them and display Old Glory. Support our troops and most of all remember the fallen.
Our very independent public television station based in Burbank, KCET will commemorate Veterans Day with a special line-up of documentaries to remind people of the sacrifices made. KCET’s CEO Al Jerome and COO Mary Mazur are proud to showcase inspiring specials dedicated to those who have served in the military. They want to celebrate the individuals who had the courage and strength to fight for our country. The shows will take viewers on emotional journeys that include stories of adversity, friendship, and heroism.
Killing Memories, airing Friday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m., follows five Americans, war veterans who served together in Vietnam 40 years ago as they reunite to tour battlefields, meet former enemies, and confront ghosts of their past. Though the film is focused on overcoming old wounds, it resonates loudly in the present, as America continues fighting wars.
Ted Bell and the Ridge airs Friday, Nov. 8, at 9:30 p.m. It’s about retired Col. Ted Bell who became The Citadel’s most decorated World War II veteran for his valor in holding a rugged ridge on Okinawa. But the deaths of so many of his men in his Easy Company of the 77th Infantry Division weighed on his mind as the decades passed. Holding on for three days of intense combat proved to be a decisive moment in the war in the Pacific. It cleared the way for the US to use the island for the planned invasion of Japan. That never happened. Two months later, Japan surrendered after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We Served Too: The Story of the Women’s Air Force, airing Saturday, Nov. 9, at 4 p.m., is a story of a group of courageous young women during WW II, the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs). Breaking through barriers and stereotypes, they were the first women pilots to ever fly for the US military. However, after an aggressive campaign by male pilots who wanted the WASPs jobs during the war, they were the only wartime unit that was denied military status by Congress and were sent home before the war was over. Because the women were denied military status, the WASPs received no insurance or benefits during or after the war. And if a WASP died during training or while on a mission, their families were not allowed to put a service star in the window, nor could the WASPs receive a military burial.
It wasn’t until the mid ’70s that they were recognized as war veterans, and it wasn’t until 2010 that the government recognized those women who died during their service and the surviving WASPs would receive the congressional gold medal. We Served Too provides a firsthand account from WASPs who share their historic experiences.
The Last Ridge airs on Monday, Nov. 11, at 9 p.m. and tells the story of a freezing winter night in February 1945. The U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division accomplished the impossible scaling a 2,000-foot cliff in northern Italy to knock the Germans from their impenetrable perch. The Last Ridge recounts the remarkable story of the extraordinary effort it took to turn the tide for the Allied forces in Italy. It also revolutionized winter mountain warfare, transformed winter sports, and inspired an entire generation of soldiers. The documentary traces the 10th Mountain Division’s history from their battles in WWII to their current campaigns in Afghanistan.
Tune in for a glimpse at heroes.