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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Free Showing of the documentary film "People of Honor: Tioga County and World War II" on May 31

William John Obourn is shown on the DVD insert cover of Gale Largey’s documentary. Obourn served with the 9th War Dog Battalion, 25th Regiment, 4th Marine Division during World War II and received a Purple Heart for injuries he received during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Because Japanese fighters on Iwo Jima were intercepting U.S. B-29 bomber runs, U.S. Marines invaded the island on Feb. 19, 1945 and took control of it from the Imperial Japanese Army 36 days later on March 26, 1945. Obourn witnessed the famous raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima by five Marines and a Navy corpsman on Feb. 23, 1945, five days after the battle had begun.
 On Wednesday, May 31 at 7 p.m., the documentary film "People of Honor: Tioga County and World War II" will be shown in tribute to those who have been described as the “Greatest Generation” in the Coolidge Theatre at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts, 104 Main Street in Wellsboro.

Originally produced in 2001, the film is based on interviews with 104 Tioga County citizens who tell of their wartime experiences on two fronts, at home and at war.

The film includes original film footage showing the first draftees leaving Tioga County, a war bond drive in downtown Wellsboro and the removal of the cannon from the town’s village green, travel along Route 15, and a postwar victory parade in Elkland. Also incorporated into the documentary is original government footage from the war front.

Local people featured in the film are: Beverley Smith Markowitz, “Red” Wetherbee, Albertine Collins, John and Betty Frazier, Isabelle Gitchell, Rhoda Ladd, Helen Coolidge, John Antonio, Orman Surina, Anne Clark, Phyllis Harmon, Robert Lugg, Joan Nash O’Dell, Ralph Kaltenbach, Catherine Miller, Francis Murphy, Jerome Copley, James Riepell, Colette Wilson, Jean Zarnick, William and Arlene Obourn, Keith Lindie, John Mahosky, John Berguson, Kenneth McCullough, Allen Scranton, William Wanich, Archie Watkins, “Babe” Pecynski, Victor Mengee, Doris Mortimer, Erma Hotchkiss, Joan Hart, Linda Baker, Edwin and Annabelle Van Schaick, Aloysius Henkiel, Foster West, Malcolm Clarke, and John Dugan. Many of these individuals have passed away in the intervening 16 years but their legacy of character remains thanks to this documentary.

In the film, General Edward Meyer, who served as Army Chief of Staff from 1979 to 1983, gives the introduction and a final reflection amidst the graves of Arlington. He underscores that “an army does not fight a war, a nation does.” The documentary closes by listing the names of all the Tioga County, Pa. soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country during WWII.

Gale Largey, the film’s director, will introduce the documentary. Following the presentation, he will answer questions.

“Young people are especially encouraged to attend to foster an understanding and appreciation of the Greatest Generation, Largey said.

Admission is free. Donations to the Deane Center will be welcomed.

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