Military Matters: NIM to feature 3D movie about D-Day

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Two dates stand out when discussing World War II.

The first is December 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The second is June 6, 1944, when the liberation of Europe began with the Normandy invasion.

A movie has been made about that history, which News Leader 9's Chuck Leonard explains in this week's Military Matters.

"In June 1944, hundreds of thousands of men and women wrote one of the most important pages of history."

It's the latest film playing at the National Infantry Museum's IMAX Theater, and this audience got a sneak peak Monday.

Now 70 years later, that story has finally been captured on the giant screen.

Those on hand by special invitation joined members of the media for a look at "D-Day, June 6, 1944 in 3D."

We've probably all seen footage of what happened at Normandy 70 years ago. Did you ever think you'd see it in 3D? Well, that's what these folks are viewing today, and each one gets a commemorative clicker, much like those used by the Allied troops.

The museum even brought in a man who was there in 1944.

"I happened to be on watch on a ship that took us across the channel in the early hours of June the 6th," said Charles Maupin, who took part in the Normandy invasion.

Charles Maupin didn't actually hit Omaha Beach until the next day, June 7, and what he saw will live with him forever.

"When we got there the beach was lined with bodies, guys that got killed in the initial wave," Maupin said. "Their bodies were just covered with ponchos, and it was just unreal, an unreal situation."

Maupin is 94, and thankful to have survived the war.

The film is not as gruesome as some presentations, which Bill Scrantom says is a good thing.

"It was just beautifully done, showing you tactically how it was handled, and sometimes that to me is kind of boring," Scrantom said. "I was very impressed with it. No problem with the 3D glasses or anything? No, in fact, it's one of the better 3D pictures I've seen."

"D-Day, in 3D" begins a full run at the IMAX Theater Friday, May 23.

The movie begins with "The Great Crusade" letter that Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower wrote outlining the invasion.

Incredibly, that message was delivered to 160,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen who took part in the attacks.

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