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New WWII Movie Tells True Story of the First Conscientious Objector to Receive Medal of Honor


Hacksaw Ridge is the story of Desmond Doss

“Hacksaw Ridge” is the extraordinary true story of WWII medic Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield (“The Amazing Spiderman”), who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, miraculously saved 75 men in a matter of hours without firing or carrying a gun.

He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, except the simple prayer he uttered before he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, under constant enemy gunfire and artillery bombardment. Doss’ courage and faith won the admiration of his commanders and fellow soldiers, as he saved the lives of the very men who had persecuted him for refusing to carry a gun. He believed the war was just, but to kill under any circumstance was wrong. Doss was labeled the first conscientious objector (he called himself a “conscientious cooperator” as he volunteered) to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Doss originally from Lynchburg Virginia, was a Seventh Day Adventist who enlisted in the Army as a combat medic thinking it would not require him to carry a gun. And even though the Army tried to convince him otherwise, they didn’t change his mind on carrying a gun. A law passed in 1940 allowing conscientious objectors to serve in the war in “noncombatant” positions.

During a twelve-hour period, Doss saved 75 men before he became wounded himself. During this Medal of Honor presentation, President Harry S. Truman warmly held the hand of Corporal Desmond Thomas Doss, as his citation was read to those gathered at the White House on October 12, 1945. “I’m proud of you,” Truman said. “You really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being president.”

Before being honorably discharged from the Army in 1946, Desmond developed tuberculosis. His illness progressed and at the age of 87, Corporal Desmond Thomas Doss died on March 23, 2006. He is buried in the National Cemetery located in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Many are calling “Hacksaw Ridge” the comeback movie for director Mel Gibson. An inspiring movie that tells the story of a real life hero. “Hacksaw Ridge” is playing now at the UA Riverwalk Theatre at 2141 East Semoran Boulevard in Apopka.

Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson


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