HACKSAW RIDGE is the extraordinary true story of Christian Army Medic Desmond Doss who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, miraculously saved 75 men in one night without firing or carrying a gun. Lionsgate is releasing the film nationwide on November 4, 2016.
Doss (Andrew Garfield) was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, armed only with the Bible and his faith in God. Doss believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. His commanding officers, concerned he was a liability, tried to intimidate him, gave him extra duties, falsely declared him mentally unfit and attempted to court martial him. He believed his duty was to obey God and serve his country—in that order, and he refused to leave.
In May 1945, Japanese troops were fiercely defending Okinawa, the only remaining barrier to an allied invasion of their homeland. With a constant prayer on his lips, this Army medic vowed to rescue as many as he could, before he either collapsed or died trying. As enemy bullets whizzed past and mortar shells exploded around him, he repeatedly ran to treat his fallen comrades and carry them back to safety while praying “One more, Lord … one more.”Doss single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. His iron determination and unflagging courage resulted in at least 75 lives saved that day, May 5, 1945. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. However, since he enlisted, he referred to himself as a conscientious cooperator.
On October 12, 1945, 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. “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, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
HACKSAW RIDGE is directed by Mel Gibson (We Were Soldiers, Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ) and stars Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughn. Faith & Military Resources: www.hacksawridgeres
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