Film Screening Honors Local Soldiers Who Have Fallen

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- This Memorial Day weekend, dozens chose to observe the holiday by honoring military veterans from Central Virginia who lost their lives in the service.

Residents were able to do so because of the the Charlottesville nonprofit veterans outreach organization Parade Rest, which partnered up with the The Paramount to hold a screening of the film "Taking Chance," based on the real life story of a veteran.

Those in attendance said the film helped them not only to be grateful of those who fought, but it was way to understand the depth of the ultimate sacrifice.

"We hope to make them think about why we have this weekend and how real the impact is for the people serving." said Rebecca Lystash, program coordinator for Parade Rest.

"Taking Chance," is about a fallen soldier from Iraq and his journey home to his final resting place. Heavy as it may be, it's lives like the ones lost that created Memorial Day. The film seems to also make people reflect on their own connection to the United States military.

"My mother was a POW in the prisoner or Japanese camp in the Philippines during World War II." said film patron and daughter of a veteran, Margie Downer.

Downer came out to pay respects to fallen soldiers and gain a little insight of the military in her mother's past.

"She was a Navy Nurse who was captured," said Downer. "I just got finished reading a very good description about their rescue and rescue Los Banos and I had no understanding how hard being a POW was."

Parade Rest organizes a tribute every year. This year's tribute brought in the All American Honor Guard.

"We need to remember that our freedom came at a cost," said Brian Del Vecchio, member of the All American Honor Guard. "There has always been people, thank goodness, that who have been willing to step up and sacrifice their own lives in order for us to enjoy everything we've enjoyed and the future that we do have."

Following the film there was a Q & A session with retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Mike Strobl, whose experiences formed the basis of the film's plot.

Representatives of Parade Rest said they would not have been able to have the event without the support of the community.

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