With all the war this country has seen in the last 100 years, it’s no surprise that veterans now make up a significant percentage of the population. But as veterans of long-ago wars age, they may wonder if their sacrifices are remembered.
We have not forgotten.
One unique way that service members are being honored is through the GI Film Festival, which takes place each year in Washington, D.C. The festival brings Hollywood and the military together so that artists can tell the story of the American veteran through film and television.
The festival is taking place this week, May 6-12, and appropriately so, since May is Armed Forces Appreciation Month. In addition to showcasing stories of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the festival commemorates the lives and service of countless senior veterans. Take a peek at some highlights of the week-long event:
World War II
Through the voices of 19 veterans, The Ghost Army tells the story of an extraordinary U.S. Army unit that used inflatable tanks and sound-effects records to stage a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe during World War II.
In October, the GI Film Festival invited high school filmmakers around the country to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War (the so-called “Forgotten War”) with their own short films. The winning films of the Heroes Remembered Contest are being shown at the festival.
In April 2012, a group of Vietnam veterans traveled with Habitat for Humanity to the Mekong Delta, where they spent two weeks healing old wounds of war while building houses and hope in partnership with Vietnamese families. The documentary short, Part of the Change, chronicles this journey and concludes with a tribute to the soldiers who were laid to rest in a Vietnamese National Cemetery.
Missed the event? Catch up with the GI Film Festival’s “Road Shows” across the country and the “Best of the GI Film Festival” weekly TV series on the Pentagon Channel.