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Newburyport In World War II: A Documentary (two hours)
May 16, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
As the number of living World War II veterans dwindles, Jean Foley Doyle has made it her mission to ensure their stories are not forgotten. The author and historian’s latest documentary examines World War II history as experienced by Newburyporters, both on the battlefield and the home front.
The documentary’s origins date back to 1995 when Doyle, then a teacher at Newburyport High School, organized an oral history project through which dozens of local veterans were interviewed about their wartime experiences. These interviews serve as the basis for the film along with accounts from the city’s home front. Firsthand accounts are brought to life by contemporary voices but the stories remain unchanged. The soldiers’ own words offer raw and intimate perspectives on experiences at Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, and Iwo Jima.
Through her film, Doyle strives to honor those who served and survived and those who never came home. She notes that “it is estimated that 40 million people died worldwide in World War II. The mind cannot comprehend such a figure or a cataclysm of such dimensions. The mind and the heart are, however, capable of understanding 43, the number of Newburyporters lost in the war. They died a long way from the North End and the South End, from Three Roads, and Joppa, from March’s Hill and Break O’Day Hill, from Chain Bridge and Bummer’s Rock, from Mt. Rural and Old Town Hill – a terrible distance from home.”