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Programming Notes: May 2015

Remembering Our Country’s Heroes

May is not only the month that leads us into summer, but a time to pay tribute to those who have fought valiantly for our country and freedom. Yes, we should remember these people every day, of course, but we make a special effort on Memorial Day. So on May 25th, Memorial Day, we’ll be bringing you stories of people who have served, and, in some cases, made the ultimate sacrifice for us. I hope their stories will stay with you and that you will share them with others.

Our morning begins at 9AM with At War in the Pacific. This program tells the story of heroism and sacrifice by the young Marines who stormed onto the islands and fought from inside the foxholes in the bloody Pacific Campaign of World War II.  David D'Arcy hosts this compelling radio hour featuring personal testimony from the Marines and historical context from scholars. We hear how the Marines came of age during weeks and months of searing combat - and how their sacrifices shaped the history of our nation. As the conflict unfolds in the Pacific, friends and relatives tell how they shouldered the burden back home. Filmmakers Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks offer their views on what the war in the Pacific meant -- then and now. Please know that some of the experiences described in this program have language and graphic descriptions that some listeners may find unsettling.

At 10AM we come back to U.S. soil, with Mine Enemy: The Story of German POWs in America. During World War II, some 400,000 captured German soldiers were shipped across the Atlantic to prison camps dotted across the U.S. Suddenly, the enemy was hoeing the back garden and sometimes even sitting at the kitchen table. This sound-rich, hour-long special combines archival sound and period music with voices of those who lived this most unusual moment in history.

We then look at those who are left behind when our loved ones go to war, and come back changed or don’t come back at all. At 11AM, Breaking Ground: Military Children, with host KavithaCardoza explores the lives of our nation’s military children. During more than a decade of war, tens of thousands of these children have watched and waited as a parent was deployed to conflict zones overseas. Now, with the Department of Defense confronting budget cuts, these children face an uncertain future. What will they do if the military chooses to shut down their schools? Will they have the support they need as their parents reintegrate into civilian life? What can we learn from these children, and what duty do we as a society owe them? 

Our specials end with The Power of Words: Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Farewell Address. During the hour, Dr. Alan Chartock and Colonel Matthew Moten talk about MacArthur’s career, listen to his farewell address to Congress, and then discuss its unique position of being televised, enabling the public to hear his side of the fighting in Korea.

So, while everyone is enjoying their beginning of the summer season, please remember the ones we have lost and take time thank those who have served.