With Mel Gibson’s movie, Hacksaw Ridge, debuting in theaters on November 4th, the City of Lynchburg—birthplace of Desmond Doss—wanted to honor the heroic accomplishments that Desmond Doss displayed during World War II at the Battle of Okinawa at Hacksaw Ridge with a special plaque presentation and recognition of his war efforts.
Knowing that Desmond Doss had a special love for the Academy named in his honor and that he had even visited our school and spoken with our students before his death, the Council of the City of Lynchburg (Va.) invited the students of Desmond T. Doss Christian Academy to first open the October 25th Council meeting by leading the body in the Pledge of Allegiance after the opening prayer.
Following the Pledge, the Vice Mayor Treney Tweedy then shared the following special recognition of Desmond T. Doss Christian Academy in honor of Desmond Doss, “Tonight, we invited the Desmond T. Doss (Christian) Academy down here to celebrate with them, and with our city as a whole, to make people aware that Desmond T. Doss, a native of Lynchburg and an army medic in World War II, was the first Conscientious Objector to receive the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of wounded soldiers during an attack in Okinawa, Japan. His heroism brought recognition not only to himself, but now, because of a new movie that is coming out celebrating his heroism, the City of Lynchburg.”
She continued, “Hacksaw Ridge opens nationwide on Friday, November 4th, and it is based on the true story of Doss, who refused to bear arms during World War II because of his religious beliefs. So I’m going to step down… and I have a presentation. If Principal Doss (of Desmond T. Doss Christian Academy) would join me, and we have some students who are going to hold up some pictures for us.”
Upon Tweedy holding up the plaque, she said, “This is being presented to the Desmond T. Doss Christian Academy in remembrance of Desmond T. Doss, American hero and Medal of Honor recipient on this day (Tuesday, October 25th). We present this to you all for you to hang in your school. We thank you all for the work you do with your students.”
She continued by saying to Principal Doss, “I heard that you have seen Hacksaw Ridge, and so we’d love to hear some words from you on that.”
Principal Steve Doss then said, “Let me first thank the City of Lynchburg for recognizing Desmond Doss once again. It’s such an honor to be able to accept this picture (plaque) in his name tonight. I was able to see the movie (Hacksaw Ridge). I prescreened it in August, and one thing I will tell you about it is that if you have read his book or know his story, the movie is spot on. You will walk away feeling… you will have even more appreciation of what Desmond did in those days in Okinawa and in other places. It is just a moving movie. I’ve gotten emails from families and people as far away as Great Britain in the last two or three weeks that have expressed to me that the movie really affirmed their faith. So I hope that everyone will go see it and get the blessing from it that I did. Thank you.”
Vice Mayor Tweedy then introduced a brief clip from the movie Hacksaw Ridge, which was shared with everyone in attendance, which moved the crowd greatly. You can find out more about the movie and watch the trailer at http://www.hacksawridge.movie. (Please note that the trailer shown on the movie page does contain some language and other scenes that might not be appropriate for children.)
In conclusion, Tweedy mentioned that the documentary about the life of Desmond T. Doss called The Conscientious Objector would be shown on the city government channel. The trailer for that documentary can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm_m8IWENJ4.