|Film brings painful reminder for vets|| IT WAS the best war movie that Ive ever
seen, said Ray Nance of Bedford, Va., a company commander in the D-Day landing.
And Ive seen The Longest Day.|
The town of Bedford, population 6,000, is too small to have its own movie theater, so residents have to drive 30 miles to see the movie. But this is a place that lost 23 of its sons in the Normandy invasion, so theres a great deal of curiosity in town about how that event is portrayed on the screen.
Lucille Boggess lost her two older brothers in the invasion. The movie, she says, brought back the tragic memories of their deaths.
I can very well remember on Sunday morning when that first telegram came and then on Monday the second telegram came, so our family was devastated. And I know my mom never got over it.
At the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., theyve set up a special hot line where vets, upset by the movie, can vent their feelings. There have been hundreds of calls so far, 172 of the callers required counseling.
Some vets who have talked to NBC say that while Saving Private Ryan is intense and disturbing, no movie, no matter how skillfully made, can capture the smells, the pain, the complete agony of being in battle.
War is hell in every respect. End quotes, underline it, says George Gossett, a World War II veteran. No matter how you spell it, war is hell. Unfortunately thats how we live. In every generation theres been war. Thats part of nature and I hate it.
Monday, as he visited the memorial to the sons Bedford lost at Normandy, Nance said he hopes all the attention being given to the movie will bring more people to this spot, to honor the real heroes of D-Day.