PBS and WNET give local east Bronx veterans sneak preview of film epic years in making; open to community, schools and organizations

Legion Post sets pre-airing of PBS’s ‘The Vietnam War’

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A preview of what promises to be an epic film about an important and troubled time in American history is coming soon to a local veterans post.

The Sam Young American Legion Post 620 will hold a one-hour preview of the PBS’s latest documentary: the 18-hour Ken Burns and Lynn Novick film ‘The Vietnam War,’ which airs nationwide beginning on Sunday, September 19.

The veterans post will view select excerpts from the film a week before it is broadcast, with doors opening at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 10 and the screening beginning at 1:45, said post member Joseph Mondello.

The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with veterans.

Community members, local schools and organizations are welcome to attend, said Mondello.

The post will preview the film on its 15-foot screen, he said. The post is in the process of creating a new auditorium space. He urged all to attend.

“It is a way of honoring our Vietnam Veterans as we approach Veterans Day, and to experience some of Ken Burn’s film on the Vietnam War,” said Mondello.

The screening will also be a chance to highlight the post’s new stage, which they hope might play host to open mic nights, karaoke, musical performances and country dancing in the future.

Local veteran’s advocate and Vietnam veteran Pat Devine, of Theodore Korony American Legion Post 253, said he is planning on attending.

“Most of the Vietnam Veterans are getting up there in age,” said Devine. “Hopefully, they will have a nice audience and get some good foodback and it will be positive.”

Devine recalled his service in the mountain ranges of Vietnam, arriving in the war zone as a U.S. Marine when he was 19-years-old.

Devine said he was spared the sometimes inhospitable return to the United States that many Vietnam veterans faced because Throggs Neck was and is a very patriotic community where his service to his country was valued.

Ken Burns, who has made notable documentaries about the Civil War and World War II, as well as films on the U.S. National Parks and the Brooklyn Bridge, joined with filmmaker and longtime collaborator Lynn Novick for the 10-year project.

The film includes original interviews with 80 American, South Vietnamese and North Vietnamese combatants and civilians, according to materials provided by WNET.

It features original war footage, as well as music from the era and original music from Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and the Silk Road Ensemble featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

“Ken Burns’ meaningful film, ‘The Vietnam War’ gives context to a piece of history that touched us all, especially those who served in the military,” said Neal Shapiro, CEO of WNET. “WNET is proud to be sharing a preview of the film with veterans and the entire Bronx community at the Samuel Young American Legion Post.”

The post is located at 1530 Hutchinson River Parkway.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Updated 5:11 pm, July 9, 2018
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