Acknowledgments by George Ciampa
Without the inspiration from my daughter, Sandi Rusconi, these documentaries would not have been a reality. From the day she accompanied her brother and my wife and I when we went to Normandy for the 50th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1994, she has been interested in filming a documentary about FREEDOM.
During a trip to Belgium in 2001, she met me and my wife there armed with a camcorder to interview Belgian citizens who lived during the Nazi occupation and filmed the Remember Museum, interviewed the owners and operators, Mathilde and Marcel Schmetz as well as others. She had me on camera to talk about my experience in five campaigns in Europe during WW II, while in the 607th Graves Registration Company. Filming was done in Belgium in a wooded bivouac area from where we operated, while gathering the dead from the battlefields of the Battle of the Bulge. Burials were made at the temporary Henri Chapelle Cemetery adjacent to the woods next to our bivouac area. The permanent site of the cemetery was filmed and she gleaned from me information about our operations---- how, when and where the transition was made from the temporary to the permanent site. This was the beginning of what was to later become a professionally filmed documentary by the capable Outpost Worldwide, Kansas City, KS, with Sandi Rusconi as the director.
I have been receiving many accolades regarding the documentary, ostensibly because I AM THE WW II VETERAN, but my daughter was/is the driving force, so to speak. Thank you Sandi for your conception and long hours in the planning and pre production. Not forgetting my son, Michael and my wife, Dottie who together with Sandi, motivated me to go to Normandy 50 years later--- to start talking and answering questions about my small part in World War II.
I would like to give praise to two other people who helped to make this happen. Paul Herbert, of the Cantigny First Division Foundation who suggested taking history teachers and veterans to Belgium and Dr. John Schmitt, Associate Superintendent of the Torrance Unified School District who gave his total support, encouragement and selected the teachers who participated.
Please see the credits in the documentary for all the others who were so important in making the film a success. My thanks and gratitude to all of them.
LET FREEDOM RING