Last night, WNET partnered with the New-York Historical Society, PBS, National Endowment for the Humanities, WETA, Steeplechase Films, and Lois Pope to present a screening and panel discussion in advance of tonight’s premiere of filmmaker Ric Burns’ Debt of Honor: A History of Disabled Veterans in America. The film explores the treatment of disabled U.S. veterans from the Revolutionary War through today.
The evening was a moving and educational opportunity to explore the historical and contemporary issues facing veterans. Opening remarks were made by our own Neal Shapiro along with Dale Gregory, Vice President for Public Programs at the New-York Historical Society; Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President; Ron P. Pierce, Senior Director of Veterans Initiatives at PBS; and Lois Pope, a Producer of Debt of Honor.
Following the screening, co-producer Ric Burns was joined in conversation by Dr. Charles Marmar – PTSD expert and Director of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center at NYU Langone Medical Center – Jose Rene “J.R.” Martinez – Private, U.S. Army, Ret., Author, Actor, Motivational Speaker – and James Wright – Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Ret., historian and President Emeritus, Dartmouth College. The conversation, which was moderated by Maria Hinojosa, Executive Producer and Host of NPR’s Latino USA and PBS’s America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, covered topics including Veteran’s healthcare, community support – both monetary and emotional – and scientific strides towards cures for PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. The panel highlighted the invisibility of Veteran’s issues, and how everyone can contribute to bringing the problems that stem from returning to civilian life into the public eye by listening to, and empathizing with, the men and women who have served in the armed forces.
You can watch the panel discussion below, and be sure to tune in to view Debt of Honor tonight on THIRTEEN at 9pm.